How to Make Salsa

One of the most useful recipes you can have in your repertoire is salsa. Salsa is super-easy to make, can be varied as many ways as you like, and has 101 uses. Need a dip for a party? Salsa! Need a super-fancy garnish for grilled or broiled fish? Salsa! Need something to jazz up a burrito? Salsa! What else can you do with it? That’s totally up to you.

Salsa means “sauce” in Spanish, and it is ubiquitious in Mexican and other Latin cuisines. Usually, when we think of salsa, we think of the tomato-chile kind, and it’s true that tomato salsa is the most versatile of salsas, the kind you’ll make most often. But once you know the basic formula, you can make any kind of salsa you like. You’ll feel like a four-star chef when you serve your guests broiled swordfish with mango-cucumber-mint salsa.

The only drawback to salsa is that it’s definitely for summer eating only. True salsa is raw and therefore requires the ripest ingredients, which are generally available only at the height of summer.

To make a basic salsa to serve 4, combine:

  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 chile, minced
  • ¼ red onion, minced
  • 1 tbsp. lime juice
  • cilantro, salt and cayenne to taste

Puree if you want a smoother sauce, or leave it chunky a dip or relish.

Now, if you want to mix it up, just make any subsitutions you like:

  • For the tomato, substitute any soft fruit: avocado, oranges, nectarines, mango, papaya, plums, peaches (yes, tomatoes and avocados are fruit!)
  • For the chile, or in addition to it, add any vegetable with crunch: corn, cucumber, jicama, bell pepper, celery
  • For the red onion, substitute shallots or scallions
  • For the cilantro, substitute any herbs, such as basil, mint or chives
  • For the lime juice, substitute lemon juice, red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar
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17 thoughts on “How to Make Salsa

  1. Not Really Refried Beans « Simply Cooking 2 November 2006 at 11:31 am

    [...] Cilantro, salsa, sour cream, chopped green chiles and grated cheese are all appropriate garnishes.   [...]

  2. [...] The only drawback to salsa is that it’s definitely for summer eating only. True salsa is raw and therefore requires the ripest ingredients, which are generally available only … My opinion is that this post should be rememberedLink to original article [...]

  3. Oven Fries « Simply Cooking 25 January 2007 at 6:31 pm

    [...] fries are great by themselves or with ketchup, mustard or even salsa. [...]

  4. Cream Cheese Spread « Simply Cooking 25 January 2007 at 6:52 pm

    [...] 1/4 cup salsa [...]

  5. garyM 22 February 2007 at 12:45 am

    very insightful read, thankyou.

  6. [...] proven finishing touch (and I include a classic recipe below), but other options abound. Relish, salsa and tomato sauce are also pretty tasty toppings. I use sauteed chicken or fish in pasta dishes, [...]

  7. [...] or chiles — they were all good. For a Southwestern-style mac and cheese, stir in 1 cup salsa with the pasta. For a heartier dish, add some cooked ham or [...]

  8. [...] chicken with a simple pan sauce made from tomatoes, scallions and vinegar. I have also used salsa and compound butter with good [...]

  9. [...] Boneless Chicken Breasts: A No-Fail Technique « Simply Cooking on How to Make SalsaPan-Roasting Boneless Chicken Breasts: A No-Fail Technique « Simply Cooking on How to Make a [...]

  10. [...] eat it, I’ll go for it. I like to experiment with strong flavor additions to enliven a mash. Salsa, pesto or herb purees, roasted garlic and cheese are all great additions to [...]

  11. [...] sauce, which would be quite decadent and delicious. But even something as simple as a pesto, salsa or aioli would work. But even without the sauce, they are yummy and very quick to make. If you have [...]

  12. [...] to Make Croquettes « Simply Cooking on AioliHow to Make Croquettes « Simply Cooking on How to Make SalsaHow to Make Croquettes « Simply Cooking on How to Make PestoHow to Make Croquettes [...]

  13. Bean and Potato Burritos « Simply Cooking 6 January 2010 at 8:56 am

    [...] in this case) with some spicy seasonings. I roll the filling up in tortillas with some cheese and salsa. I bought prepared salsa because — let’s face it — making salsa in the dead of [...]

  14. [...] I have harvested a few chiles, so I might also save some tomatoes for one last bowl of salsa. [...]

  15. Don’t buy it, cook it! | Blog, by Shannon 11 October 2011 at 3:21 pm

    [...] Salsa [...]

  16. [...] use shellfish) additional resources for making salsamexicanfood.com mahalo.comthe boy can cooksimply cookingDisclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” [...]

  17. Salsas making | Valorcg 22 April 2012 at 2:52 pm

    [...] How to Make Salsa | Simply CookingOct 19, 2006 … One of the most useful recipes you can have in your repertoire is salsa. Salsa is super-easy to make, can be varied as many ways as you like, … [...]

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