(Pay no mind to the horrific photos found within this post. It wasn’t until 2012 that I really understood what it takes to produce a decent, albeit still amateur, photograph: natural light.)
Years ago my good friend, Theresa, started making fresh salsa as part of her annual Cinco de Mayo party. Everyone always raved about it, especially my husband Todd, so Theresa always made sure we left with a “to go” container after the party. She made no bones about where she got the recipe; it’s from the Better Homes & Gardens red and white checker cookbook that almost every house in America has on its shelves. Rather than make Todd wait 364 days to have his next dose of salsa, I decided to give the recipe a whirl, and in the years since I’ve tweaked it here and there to make it my own. Now when we go to parties and I ask what we can bring, I’m told, “Bring your fresh salsa!”
Here’s what you need:
- 4 tomatoes (I like Roma, but whatever’s available is fine), finely diced
- 1 large can tomato puree
- 1 small can petite diced tomatoes with green chiles
- 1 tiny can diced green chiles
- 1 Jalapeño pepper, minced
- 1/2 cup onion, finely diced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 green onions, chopped
- 1 small bunch cilantro, chopped
- 2 tsp salt – more or less to taste
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp chili powder
- Juice from 2 limes
- Zest from 1 lime
And here’s how you make it:
Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and let sit at least 4 hours, better if you wait overnight. Serve with tortilla chips. And as Theresa would say, it makes a lot. She’s right.
Feel free to substitute a small can of petite diced tomatoes for the four Roma tomatoes, and you can also substitute a 1/4 cup of lime juice for the freshly squeezed limes. This recipe also works great with a food processor if you like a fine pureed salsa – just save the green onions until last & stir them in, rather than blend them in the processor.
Bonus: It freezes well! Store in zip top freezer bags, and thaw when you’re ready to have more. I lay mine flat so that I can stack a few bags.
Happy salsa making!