How to Make Salsa

Even before Jason Alexander’s character, George, from the NBC hit show, Seinfeld declared salsa as the number one condiment in America, many of us had already decided it was the perfect side for everything from tortilla chips to burgers. While locating salsa is as easy as finding ketchup or mustard in our local supermarkets, it’s those homemade salsas that we long for. Even better are the seemingly endless ingredients to ensure a delicious and unique taste. Salsa is also a healthy choice and the use of fresh vegetables and even herbs grown from your own windowsill play a significant role in setting your homemade salsa apart from the rest.

The following passages will explain in greater detail how to make salsa.

Salsa Ingredients

Besides tomatoes, there are other additions that give salsa its special taste and texture. The inclusion of diced onions, bell pepper and even jalapeno peppers all play a role in how the final result tastes. As mentioned above, if you’re fortunate enough to have a small herb garden in your windowsill or your back yard, you only add to the taste and health advantages over store bought salsa. Other additions include diced garlic, cilantro, corn, lime or lemon juice and even zucchini squash. Herbs you can add for both taste and color include basil, parsley and mint. Remember: the fresher the vegetables, the better the taste.

How to Make Salsa

How to Make Salsa

After you’ve decided which ingredients you want to include in your homemade salsa, your next goal is to decide the texture. While salsa is traditionally chunky, you can puree your ingredients to a finer consistency if you prefer. And too, the use of a food processor comes in handy; but again, it all comes down to your preference. Some like to use a cutting board and knife to ensure the right texture in their salsas, especially if there’s a considerable amount of onion. Remember, the finer the onion is chopped, the stronger the flavor. Your goal is to ensure no one flavor overpowers the rest of your ingredients, but rather, have them come together to define the finished taste of your homemade salsa.

Another alternative to consider is lightly roasting the tomatoes, peppers and onions. This will result in a slightly sweeter taste and add even more color and texture. You may even wish to sauté the garlic, peppers and onions while tossing in the diced tomatoes for the last thirty seconds of the sauté process.

Salsa Ingredient Ratios

Naturally, salsa’s main ingredient is tomatoes. Ideally, you’ll have three parts diced tomatoes to the combined remaining ingredients. For instance, a good rule of thumb is three parts diced tomatoes to one part chopped onions, diced chilies, bell pepper or anything else you’re going to include.

While a bit of jalapeno or other hot chilies is always good, be careful to not add too much or else you run the risk of it not being enjoyed by some family members and guests. Also, while basil gives salsa a distinct taste, it too can be too much of a good thing. Parsley is generally used to add color and mint, should you decide to add a sprig or two, is better when it’s finely chopped.

Once you have the right ratios worked out, it’s time to pull the ingredients together as the flavors combine to present your own tasty salsa. Again, you’ll likely want to use a bit of trial and error while determining how chunky you and your family prefer, but rest assured, good salsa never goes uneaten.

Tips for Making Fresh Salsa

Looking for more tips for making fresh salsa? Consider adding a tablespoon to a fresh tossed green salad for a unique taste. A few minutes before the steaks come off the grill, spread a tablespoon over the meat and allow the garlic, tomatoes and herbs add a delicious flavor. Homemade salsa is a perfect fit in tacos, burritos and even scrambled eggs.

Salsa is an easy and healthy choice many of us are reaching for over traditional condiments. While store brands offer variety, there’s simply nothing better than fresh salsa made in our own kitchens with our own preferred ingredients. Making salsa doesn’t require hours in front of a stove nor are you limited by the ingredients. Following specific instructions for recipes is part of any good cook’s efforts; however, preparing delicious homemade salsa is one time a recipe does not have to be followed to the letter.

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