I’m a California girl, so naturally I have a deeply ingrained love for salsa. I’d go so far as to say that when we go out for Mexican food, I look forward more to having chips and salsa while we wait than the actual entree. Although I’ve noticed since moving to Oregon that free chips and salsa isn’t really a thing here- what’s up with that?
Sometimes jarred salsa can hit the spot (there’s this peach-pineapple stuff we were kinda addicted to for awhile…) but I never really think of it as salsa so much as a topping for my rice and beans. Jarred salsa isn’t something I just sit down and eat with chips on its own, feeling completely satisfied afterward.
If you ask me, if it ain’t got tons of cilantro, lime juice and onion in it, then it ain’t salsa.
Also, you know that gooey consistency a lot of store-bought salsa has? Kinda ew. Salsa shouldn’t be viscous, it should be watery- a tell tale sign of all the delicious tomato and lime juices mingling around together.
Anyway, I’ve been wanting to make my own salsa forever and finally gathered up the courage after reading The Pioneer Woman’s recipe. I have to admit, I did make a few minor alterations, but as anyone with a salsa recipe always says: that’s the great thing about salsa. You take a good base recipe and can easily make it better according to your tastes.
In this case I happen to like mine smooth, with a few chunks here or there, no need to liquify it completely. There’s nothing better than enjoying the tang and the spice and then having a burst of sweet white onion flood your buds. Did I mention that I l-o-v-e cilantro and lime juice? ‘Cos I do, and that’s why I like the juice of two limes plus 1 or 2 teaspoons of lemon juice, as well as an entire bunch of cilantro (with the bottom 3 or 4 inches of stalk cut off. I’m not totally insane). And because I’m a wimp, I de-seed my jalapeno.
Someday I’d like to get away from the canned tomatoes and use all fresh ingredients, but for the time being (aka winter), this is perfectly convenient. And cheap!
Makes ~9.5 cups
1 28-oz. can Tomatoes, whole peeled
2 10-oz cans Rotel diced tomatoes & green chiles
1/2 Onion, yellow or white, diced
1 Jalapeno, de-seeded and diced
1 bunch Cilantro
1/2 tsp Garlic (or one clove), minced
1 1/4 tsps Salt
2 tsps Lemon juice
1/4 tsp Sugar
1/4 tsp Cumin
Cut the bottom 3-4 inches off your rinsed cilantro. Dice the jalapeno and pulse in a food processor until finely minced. You may have to swish the ingredients around with a spatula if they start sticking to the walls.
Add all the rest of the ingredients – I usually start with the other fresh ingredients (onion, garlic), then seasonings (lemon + lime juice, sugar, cumin, salt) and lastly, the canned tomatoes.
Pulse 5-10 times, depending on how chunky you like it. I do something around 10 quick pulses.
Refrigerate for at least 12 hours. The flavor of the salsa will dramatically change overnight, so it’s important to make this ahead. I usually make a batch the night before I want to enjoy it as an afternoon snack, or that morning if I want to have it with dinner.