Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Simple & Fresh Salsa

Do you ever wonder how sometimes the simplest dishes are the tastiest. This salsa involves no cooking, the only tools you need are a knife and a cutting board. It has a grand total of 5 ingredients, yet it's always a hit whenever I make it. Great for snacking on, or pair it with some eggs, chicken breast or fish. Did I mention it's super healthy too?

  • 5 Large Tomatoes
  • 1 Onion
  • 4 Jalapeno Peppers
  • 1 Handful of Cilantro
  • 1 Lime
  • Kosher Salt and Pepper

Start by rinsing off your tomatoes then cut each one in half horizontally.

Remove the seeds and goop inside the tomato by sticking your finger in the cavities and pulling everything out. I highly recommend doing this over the sink. Once you have your tomato "shells", season them generously with salt and pepper. Make sure you get it in all the crevices. If you look closely at the picture you can almost make out the salt on the tomatoes.

Line a cutting board with paper towels and invert the tomatoes on the towels. This will pull some of the moisture out of the tomatoes and help to concentrate their flavor.

Now is the perfect time to take a break. Pour yourself a cerveza and relax while the salt does it's work. I was cleaning house, and you can proceed dicing up the other ingredients, but then my pictures will be out of order and that's not cool.

Ok, it's been about 40 or 45 minutes, let's take a look at our tomatoes. Look how much water they have released!

It's time to get to dicing them up. I go with a fine dice on everything in my salsa, but it really depends on how you like it.

Next, take your onion and finely dice it. Throw that into the salsa and mix it up with the tomatoes.
Then take some Jalapeno Peppers. In my opinion, this makes the salsa. Cut the peppers in half length wise and ask yourself "How hot do I want my salsa?" By removing the seeds and veins from within the peppers, you can remove a lot of the heat. Below is a picture of Jalapenos ranging from mild (left) to medium (middle) to hot (right).

I recommend 2 mild and 2 medium Jalapenos for the average person (that's what I make for my guests), but if it's me, I'll step it up to 3.5 mediums and 1 hot. I'm crazy like that.

To dice the Jalapenos, slice them vertically first. They should look like match sticks. This picture is a little crappy, and I apologize. Like I said in my previous post, I am new to the digital camera game. All we can do is hope I get better with time.

Then slice horizontally and throw into the salsa.

Next, grab a handful of rinsed cilantro. Make sure you clean it well as it can really hold a lot of dirt sometimes. I'm a little OCD and have to pull all the leaves off of the stems before I chop it up, but you don't have to be as anal as me. The smaller stems are really unnoticeable. Chop the leaves and throw them into the salsa. We are almost done!

By this point, your salsa should be looking (and smelling) pretty good. Depending on how long this process has taken, your tomatoes may have given up some more of the water. At this point, I'll take a spoon and remove a couple spoonfuls of "water" out of the salsa before the final step. Finally, we will slice a lime in half and put all of the juice into the salsa. This, along with the cilantro, gives it that super fresh taste.

Now get yourself a bag of your favorite tortilla chips and go to town on this salsa. I made it over the memorial day weekend while at my sister's house with the family and they were eating it before I was done making it. Needless to say, it didn't last long.


  1. Why don't you put a rss feed so we, your fans, know when you have updated?

  2. Consider it done! You can now subscribe to my site and receive notices when it's updated!

  3. It was a hit over the weekend! Yummy!!

  4. I'm hoping this cooking talent runs in the family. I'm putting you in my Google Reader and maybe I'll be master chef one day too!

    P.S. I completely agree with the person on the last post who said you write very conversationally! So true! And great pictures!

  5. Just an idea, don't pull the cilantro leaves off at all, just chop everything, leaves and stems together. I actually think the stems have more flavor than the leaves.

    I love cilantro so much that I'm going to buy a plant lamp for the basement and grow it year-round!

  6. Made the salsa's awesome. HINT: Use gloves when slicing the jalapenos!! I've never done that before and I learned the hard way.

  7. Brett: I had a sibling that learned that lesson when she tried to remove a contact lense after handling a bunch of jalapenos. Needless to say, I think she will never touch a jalapeno without a glove now.

    I think I have become semi-immune to it, as it doesn't bother me much anymore. I just keep my hands away from my eyes.