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Mar 21, 2006 11:42 AM

Salsa recipes without onion?

  • l

My husband cannot stand onions, and he was wondering if it's possible to make a decent salsa (a tortilla-chip dipping sort of salsa) without them. He's a big fan of garlic, so I wondered if I could substitute extra garlic.

Any ideas would be welcome. Thanks.

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  1. I take some dried chile de arbols (maybe 2 handfuls) and roast them. To roast them, I put them in a cast iron skillet heated to medium and turn them frequently until they darken, but before they burn. (This is quick--like a minute or so.) I roast them with the stems on them to keep the seeds from falling out, but before I put them in the salsa, I snap the stems off (but I keep the seeds inside the chile).

    Then I take a 14 oz can of tomato sauce (I like Hunts.) and put it in the blender with the chiles and a pinch of salt. After it's blended I taste it to see if I need to add more salt or more chiles.

    It's pretty spicy. I don't know how good it would be with fewer chiles since the roasted chiles provide a smokey flavor. Maybe if it's too spicy, you could try excluding some of the seeds?

    2 Replies
    1. re: hoosk

      We like Hunt's tomato sauce also. There's no high fructose corn sweetener in it. We used to cook with Contadina until we noticed that the current purveyor screwed around with the original ingredient list. Hunt's also is sold with no salt added.

      1. re: ChiliDude

        Hunts is a good option among the vary widely available brands. If you can find them, Muir Glen organic tomato products are even better.

    2. My father disliked onions and what my mother would do is salt them and let them stand for an hour or two and then rinse well with cold water. It really mellowed the flavor of the onions. But I don't see why you couldn't just leave them out and maybe substitute roasted garlic.

      1. Does he like chives or scallions? - a heavy dose of either would probably work in lieu of onions.

        1 Reply
        1. re: EAF

          Shallots would be a great substitute if he doesn't mind them.

        2. Red sauce without onions is a crime.

          But green sause is another story. A Houston speciality from Mamma Ninfa:

          3 Med. green tomatoes; Coarsely chopped
          4 Tomatillos ; coarsely chopped
          2 Jalapeno peppers (or more); Stems removed and coarsely Chopped
          3 Small cloves garlic
          3 Medium ripe avacados
          4 Sprigs cilantro; *
          1 ts Salt or to taste
          1 ½ c Imitation sour cream

          Place green tomatoes, tomatillos, jalapeno peppers and garlic in a saucepan, bring to a boil, lower heat, simmer 15 minutes or until tomatoes are soft. Remove from heat, cool slightly. Peel, seed and slice avocados, set aside. In food processor, place part of the green tomato mixture with part of the avocados, cilantro and salt, cover. Process until smooth, turn into large bowl. Repeat with remaining green tomato mixture and avocado. Add to mixture in bowl, stir in sour cream, cover with plastic wrap. Chill. Makes 5-6 cups. Note: Real sour cream can be used instead of imitation.

          1. Hell yeah. There are hundreds of Mexican salsas beyond the common "salsa fresca" or "salsa cruda" of chopped tomatoes-onions-chiles, and many of them do not include onion. I've posted several detailed salsa recipes, so if you want more details look for those. But in short, here are a few:

            Salsa Tradicional: Canned tomatoes, roasted garlic, roasted fresh jalapeno and/or serrano chiles, salt, lime juice.

            Salsa de Tomatillo: Roasted tomatillos, toasted dried chiles de arbol, roasted garlic, salt, lime juice.

            Salsa Roja: Canned tomatoes, roasted garlic, toasted dried chiles de arbol, salt, lime juice.

            Salsa de Chipotle: Canned tomatoes, roasted garlic, canned chipotles, salt, adobo sauce from the canned chipotles.

            For all four, add everything to a blender and puree until smooth. I would never add onion to the latter three. With the Salsa Tradicional I sometimes add chopped onion and cilantro after blending when I want to recreate chunky salsa fresca outside of tomato season, although I usually just use as is.

            The book "Secrets of Salsa" has lots of other great recipes.