The word 'salsa' originates from Spain. It means any sauce served with food. However, in English, 'salsa' refers to a tomato-based spicy condiment, which is served as a dip with Mexican food. Contrary to popular beliefs, making this sauce is very easy and it can be made in a matter of minutes. It can even be served as an appetizer or a light snack. It is traditionally served with tortilla chips, bread sticks, pita bread, raw vegetables, tacos, fajitas, quesadillas, or even used as a breadspread. Authentic salsa sauce is normally not cooked, but there are some recipes in which chillies and tomatoes are grilled or charred, in order to attain a smoky flavor.
How to Make Mexican Salsa
You will come across a number of recipes, that use tomatoes, but this is one of the simplest.
- Tomatoes, 3 (finely diced)
- Red Onion, (finely diced), ½ cup
- Jalapeño Chili Pepper, (seeds removed, finely chopped) 1
- Serano Chili Pepper, (seeds removed, finely diced) 1
- Lime Juice, 2 tsp.
- Cilantro, (chopped) ½ cup
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- Oregano to taste
- Combine chopped tomatoes, onion, jalapeño pepper, and serano pepper in a medium-sized bowl.
- Add salt, lime juice, pepper, and oregano to the vegetables and stir well.
- If the sauce has become very spicy, add some freshly-chopped tomatoes and a little more salt. Refrigerate for 30 minutes and serve it at room temperature.
Chopped cilantro lends a different flavor to the sauce and makes it more aromatic.
- Ripe Tomatoes, (finely chopped) 3
- Red Pepper, (de-seeded, finely chopped) 1
- Jalapeño Pepper, (finely chopped) 1
- Onion, (chopped) 1
- Fresh Cilantro, (finely chopped) 4 tbsp.
- Green Olives, (finely chopped) 4 tbsp.
- Garlic Cloves, (crushed) 2
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- In a bowl, mix chopped tomatoes, red pepper, jalapeño pepper, onion, and crushed garlic cloves.
- Place the bowl in the refrigerator for at least 30 to 45 minutes.
- Remove from the refrigerator. Add salt, pepper, cilantro, and green olives to the sauce.
- Refrigerate for another 10 minutes.
- Transfer to a serving dish and serve the sauce with tortilla chips.
- Whole Tomatoes, (drained) 1 can
- Whole Green Chilies, (drained) 4 oz.
- Black Olives, (drained) 1 can
- Pimiento Stuffed Olives, ¼ cup
- Green Onions, (cut into small pieces) 4
- Cider Vinegar, 1½ tbsp.
- Olive Oil, 1 tbsp.
- Ground Black Pepper, ¼ tsp.
- Hot Sauce, ¼ tsp.
- In a blender, place tomatoes, green chilies, and green onions. Cover it with a lid and pulse it 3 to 4 times.
- Add black olives, pimiento stuffed olives, cider vinegar, olive oil, ground black pepper, and hot sauce to the mixture. Pulse again, so that most of the ingredients are coarsely chopped.
- Remove the dip in a bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Serve the dip with tortilla chips.
You can make changes to these recipes by using an assorted variety of chilies. These salsa recipes can be used as great tasting condiments for barbecued, roasted, or grilled meals. Many people also like to have their plain rice and beans topped with this sauce. If you cannot eat very spicy food, you can replace jalapeño peppers with bell peppers, which are not as spicy.