I’m from California and salsa is a way of life. It goes on everything from tortilla chips to scrambled eggs. I really can’t imagine living without it. Now, Tennessee is great. I love how green it is, the lack of traffic, and how kind people are. But California has it beat in the salsa department. I don’t know about you, but I just have a hard time getting excited about salsa from a jar. It needs to be fresh! So I figured out how to make it on my own so that I can get that fresh California taste all the way over here in Knoxville.
I start by dicing up a large, plump tomato.
Then I do the same to a sweet onion.
Then I get two jalapenos and pull the seeds out. I set them to the side because these bad boys are what’s going to add our “HOT” factor. The more you add, the hotter the salsa. When my kids are eating it, I just put in a few. But I like salsa with a kick so I might throw in a small bundle. Also, don’t get them stuck under your finger nails or touch your eyes after handling them. Been there, done that. NOT FUN!
Now for the fresh factor. Lots and lots of cilantro! Do your best to rip the leaves off the stems. If the stems get in the salsa they can add a bitter flavor. It is a bit of tedious work, but definitely worth it!
Now pull out the food processor and add a can of “chili ready” diced tomatoes. If the can doesn’t say that, look for the one that has green chiles added or says something about Mexican seasonings. The food processor is another one of my favorite and most useful kitchen devices. My mom-in-love got me a big one a few Christmases ago and I use it on a regular basis. I use it for salsa, to blend soup, to make graham cracker crusts, etc. It really is super convenient.
Now I just throw everything in.
Now comes the fun and flavorful part. Add 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar.
Then 2 tablespoons of lime juice and a hefty sprinkling of kosher salt and cracked pepper.
Put the lid on and pulse to blend it. Just do a few quick pulses so that the salsa stays chucky. Grab a tortilla chip and try it out. You may want to add more jalapeno seeds to spice it up. You may need a bit more salt. Maybe you like a thick tomato base, so add some more!
The best thing about this salsa is that you can make it exactly how you like it! Now just pour it in a dish and serve with the chips! This is a definite crowd pleaser no matter where you are! People also really like this served with Chunky Restaurant-Style Guacamole, served next to Half Calorie Chicken Enchiladas, or on top of Green Chile Cheese Quiche. If you need other appetizer or Mexican food ideas, please follow my Pinterest boards below. Happy cooking y’all!
- 1 large tomato
- 1 sweet onion
- 1-2 bunches of cilantro
- 2 seeded jalapenos
- 1 can diced chili ready tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon red vine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt and pepper to taste
- Blend all ingredients together in a food processor
- Pulse a few times to keep salsa chunky
- Taste before serving to adjust spice level, add more jalapeno seeds
- Taste with tortilla chip to adjust salt, pepper, vinegar, etc