Salsa Fresca, California Style

January 14, 2012 § 3 Comments

salsa fresca with food tastes good chips

This is the fastest, freshest way to add a kick to anything. Tomatoes, onion, and one fresh lime are the building blocks. Add jalapeno and cilantro and your taste buds are gonna dance! Serve this instead of jarred salsa. Trust me, it is worth the 10 minute investment. If you’re eager to get to the recipe, you can scroll to the bottom of this post.

chopped tomatoes, cilantro, jalapeno, and red onion
Back East I had never really had great salsa fresca, and was convinced that I did not like cilantro. (Oddly, I did like cilantro in Thai food… turns out cilantro is best, in my opinion, when paired with lime). So if you don’t like cilantro, you can either omit it, or take a chance with this recipe. You might be surprised to find that you like it.

I cut my veggies in the following order, with largest chop (roughly 1/3 inch) to smallest dice: tomatoes, onion, cilantro, then jalapeno. Always work with jalapeno last, and clean up immediately and thoroughly. I learned the hard way that the heat transfers to your fingers, and also to eyes or any other mucous membrane. I recommend not working with contact lenses within an hour or two of working with any type of hot pepper, be it jalapeno or the steamy scotch bonnet.

RECIPE:
Salsa Fresca, California Style

6-8 small tomatoes, chopped and drained of any excess liquid (remove seeds if you prefer)
1/3 large red onion, diced large
1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed, diced
2 T fresh cilantro, washed and chopped
1 lime
salt to taste (optional)

Combine tomatoes, onion, and cilantro in a medium sized bowl. Cut lime in half and squeeze as much juice as you possibly can and mix in bowl. Salt to taste (completely optional – in fact, if you are serving with salty chips, I’d skip the salt).

If you’d like, reserve some of the mixture for kids or people who don’t like heat (jalapenos).  Stir in jalapenos to adult portion of salsa fresca.

Serve immediately, or refrigerate and serve within 48 hours.

Happy nibbling,
Sarah

photo of bowl full of salsa fresca

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