Fresh salsa, Salsa Fresco, or Pico de Gallo, whatever name you call it by, it is delicious in its many forms! Yum!
Salsa Fresca is a year-round favorite of mine, but it’s even better during the summer when veggies are fresh and locally grown. I actually prefer homemade salsa over anything jarred or canned. Plus it’s so easy to make.
It’s a perfect snack to pack and carry waterside and it’s sure to be a hit at parties. Whether you want to make it ahead of time or on the spot like I did, it’s going to be a crowd pleaser. Although, it doesn’t usually last long.
Little hands were eagerly reaching for chips just as I was snapping photos for this blog post. That little hand would by our friend’s daughter, Reese. I had a little fun making this Pinterest graphic.
Basic salsa ingredients that I start with:
5 large vine-ripened tomatoes, diced ( I have used Heirloom varieties & Roma)
3/4 c. sweet yellow onion, diced
1-3 Fresno peppers or jalapenos, minced
1/4- 1/2 c. cilantro, finely chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, finely minced
Juice of 1-2 limes
Juice of 1/2 lemon
First, remove the pulp and seeds from tomatoes, unless you prefer a drippy salsa. I prefer my salsa a bit on the drier side similar to the Pico de Gallo served at Chipotle and Qdoba. Once you have everything diced, chopped, and minced combine your ingredients, squeeze fresh citrus over everything and salt to taste.
Sometimes I add these after I have the base put together:
Pinch of cumin (optional)
Pinch of chile powder (optional)
Black Pepper (optional)
You can also add- minced bell pepper, cucumber, avocado, or corn.
Adding protein-rich black beans, chickpeas, or black-eyed peas adds a velvety texture that contrasts nicely with all the fresh ingredients. When adding beans I do recommend using a minimum of 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
Garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, or coriander seasoning are nice additions too.
Tip: For a delicious twist, try roasting the peppers and garlic before adding them to the salsa .
Add anything you like and serve with warm chips or enjoy with fresh cut veggies. Don’t take salsa making too seriously. Have fun experimenting with different flavors, spices, and textures in your salsa.
You might be wondering what a Fresno chili pepper is all about?
Our friends had never heard of them either, but they loved the flavor and moderate heat.
If you enjoy peppers that rank high on the Scoville scale -Habanero or Ghost Pepper– you may find a Fresno pepper leaves little to be desired in the heat department. Fresno peppers do have a well-rounded flavor and medium heat.
A jalapeno, on the other hand, tends to be consistently inconsistent with heat which is why I prefer Fresno peppers. It’s all a matter of preference. Some people can debate for hours on which pepper is better than another. I’m a medium heat kind of gal.
Habanero salsa is way too hot for me. Cayenne is my limit as far as spice goes. Serranos are a good choice for salsa too.
There are many types of salsas that are enjoyable, but this basic salsa recipe gives a lot of wiggle room for creativity with flavors. I don’t think there is a right or wrong way to make a salsa, just as there isn’t a right or wrong way to make a salad. I’ve listened to those debates too. Ha ha!