Making your own salsa at home is so easy that once you try it, you’ll probably never buy salsa from the store again. As long as you keep to a few simple rules, making salsa is a breeze.
First you must pick which type of salsa you want to make.
- Tomato Salsa is a fantastic classic traditionally made with red tomatoes. This is the basic one I’ll show you how to make.
- Salsa Verde is made with tomatillos; it’s a glorious green color.
- Salsa Picante is usually pureed in a blender and what you’re likely to get at most restaurants.
- Fruit salsa traditionally has either mango or pineapple added to the traditional red tomato base and tastes fantastic with seafood.
Next, the tomato you use is quite important. Some tomatoes are more flavorful than others and many displayed in your local produce department aren’t ripe. Pro tip: Keeping your tomatoes at room temperature for a few days will soften them up even more.
I like to use vine-ripened tomatoes. They seem to have the most flavor and are a nice deep red color. Beefsteak tomatoes lack flavor and are usually used for topping burgers. Roma tomatoes taste good but hold a lot of juice –which actually makes them ideal for pasta sauce. I would only use fresh tomatoes for salsa—never canned—or you’ll end up with a mushy consistency.
Prepare Your Fruits + Veggies
Yes, tomatoes are a fruit! For this recipe, you’ll need tomatoes, red onion, a jalapeno, garlic and cilantro.
First you need to wash your tomato and discard any store stickers that may be stuck to it. Cut 2 tomatoes in half ways and then each half into two, then into four and then into eight wedges. Then take the knife and cut out the inner part including the seeds and discard, leaving only the outer part of the tomato.
By getting rid of the seeds you wont have a watery salsa. Slice each wedge the long way and then dice into small pieces. Transfer to a bowl. Don’t worry if your tomato is a little bruised or has any indentations on it, but if the skin seems wrinkled then that’s a sign that the tomato is probably old and losing it’s flavor. Place your diced tomato in a mixing bowl.
Next, chop about ½ of red onion into similar-sized pieces. First cut the onion into strips and then and then cut across your strips to get the dice. Transfer to the bowl.
The great thing about making your own salsa is that you can control the heat. I love really spicy while the rest of my family prefers mild. Adding ½ of a diced jalapeño chili will give you a fantastic flavor and mild to medium spice level—just be sure to remove the white inner part and seeds. Again, cut into strips and then dice before adding to your tomato-onion mixture.
Peel the 2 fresh garlic cloves and mince. Transfer to the bowl.
Chop ¾ a cup of fresh cilantro and add to the bowl.