Fresh Tomato Salsa

Fresh Tomato Salsa

Utterly useful. Turn the page for more ways to vary ingredients and flavors.
TIME 30 to 45 minutes
MAKES 6 to 8 servings (about 4 cups)
4 large tomatoes (about 1½ pounds)
1 medium white onion, chopped, or 4 scallions, chopped
1 or 2 fresh hot green chiles (like jalapeño), seeded and minced
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley leaves (about 1 large bunch)
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, or more to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 Remove the core from a tomato with a paring knife, then quarter them and chop the wedges into small chunks. Scrape the pieces and all the juice on the cutting board into a large bowl. Repeat with the remaining tomatoes.

2 Add the onion, chile, garlic, cilantro, and lime juice to the tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more lime juice if you like. If you have time, let the salsa sit at room temperature for 15 minutes for the flavors to blend; then serve. (You can make the salsa ahead and refrigerate it for up to 2 hours; bring it back to room temperature before serving.)

  • Salsa is best made with fresh ingredients in season. And with the variations that follow, you can do just that—year-round—with all sorts of fruits, vegetables, and seasoning.
  • Salsa is good with crudités or as a sauce for simply cooked vegetables. I also like it tossed with grains, beans, or rice. And a spoonful or two on top of grilled or broiled fish, chicken, or meat is a game changer.
  • If you’re out of fresh herbs or chiles, just skip them and add 1 teaspoon ground cumin and a pinch of cayenne or crushed red pepper instead.
  • If you don’t like spicy food, just leave out the chile; you might want to add more garlic.

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