I always judge a Mexican or Tex-Mex restaurant by its salsa. I’ve had thick and thin, spicy and tomato soupy, even green salsa made with tomatillos. I can tell when the salsa has been made fresh in-house. Now I have a particular way I like mine and I imagine most people do too. It needs to be hot (but not too hot), thick enough to stay on a chip (but not so thick is doesn’t spread) and fresh. Basically, it needs to be just right. I can enjoy whatever is served in a restaurant, but when I’m making mine at home I prefer this salsa recipe. It is best when it includes ingredients fresh from the farmers market.
Keri’s just-right salsa recipe
- 3 cups of fresh diced tomato (or one 28-ounce can of tomato)
- 1 small red onion
- 1/2 medium bell pepper
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 jalapeno
- a generous pinch of salt
- 3 tablespoon fresh cilantro
Dice the tomato, onion and bell pepper small. If you are using canned tomatoes, save the juice.
Grate the garlic on a microplane or dice it as small as possible. My microplane is one of my favorite tools. If you’ve ever accidentally chomped on a piece of garlic that should’ve been chopped smaller, you know why.
Remove the stem and seeds from the jalapeno and dice is very small too. If you love tongue-numbingly hot salsa, you can leave the seeds in, but I find it hot enough without them.
Add the vegetables plus salt to a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 15 minutes or until everything is soft. If you are using fresh tomatoes, they will give off a lot of liquid.
Remove the pot from the heat and add the cilantro, finely chopped. Allow it to cool and refrigerate until ready to serve.
This salsa recipe isn’t tested for canning, so I usually only make one batch at a time. I usually keep this in a jar in the refrigerator, where it will last a few weeks if it lasts one meal.
Fortunately, two out of three bears don’t like salsa, so I barely have to share.