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Jun 23, 2010 12:19 PM

Best Salsa Recipe?

I'm always disappointed in any salsa that I make. What's your best salsa recipe? Not the kind you put on chicken or fish - the kind you sit and snarf with chips and can't stop eating it. The kind you bring to a BBQ and everyone asks for the recipe. Red or green, doesn't matter, but no fruit please!


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    1. re: gordeaux

      I've tried all kinds - fire roasted tomato, fresh chunky tomato, tomatillo, chipotle, etc. Maybe I don't get my ratios right, but I've yet to make one and say YES, this is IT.

      1. re: AZCat

        What do you put into your salsa? What ingredients? List them.

    2. I'm not sure what type you are making now, but we make one that is a sort of salsa fresca, and it always goes over well at parties. In fact, now we have to bring multiple versions (hot and mild, with and without cilantro).

      We just course dice some tomatoes, chopped onions, minced cilantro, lime juice, and chopped jalapeno. This is a very course salsa, but it's always popular.

      1. Best salsa, no fruit? Can't be done. The best salsas have fruit in them. Tomatoes, pineapple or strawberries. One way or another, they're fruit based (and my fave is the pineapple salsa - I can eat a ton of that stuff).

        20 Replies
        1. re: Indirect Heat

          Fruit in salsa is like fruit in bagels. Not Kosher by my standards.

          1. re: ChiliDude

            You don't put tomatoes in your salsa?

            1. re: alanbarnes

              Yeah...I know that tomatoes are in reality classified as a fruit, but most people think of them as a vegetable. I try to keep the colors of the Mexican flag in my salsa since it is known as 'pico de gallo.' I guess even chiles can be classified as a fruit since they and tomatoes are taxonomically in the same Family: Solanaceae.

              1. re: ChiliDude

                However there are two distinct types of 'pico de gallo' in Mexico

                One is the coarse dice salsa.

                The other is a mix of fruits and vegetables, often cut in sticks, that are seasoned with chile, lime and salt. Jicama and mango are two fruits that are often served this way.

                1. re: paulj

                  I was walking the Dallas Farmers Market a couple of weeks ago and one (Mexican) vendor had samples of jicama sticks hanging out in lime juice which he gave a shake of salt and chili(?) that I thought was paprika...... But guess not.

                  With jicama's fairly non-descript flavor, it would be a great texture enhancer to salsa. I just wonder how long it would "hold-up" with the acid content of tomatoes and lime.... assuming those ingredients were used.

                  1. re: CocoaNut

                    Jicama keeps its crunch well, even in a left over salad that's spent two days in the fridge.

            2. re: ChiliDude

              I'm not one to follow rules for food. (Or at least, the only rule I follow is - make it tasty) Pineapple salsa with habaneros for heat is awesome:


              I've been told by many, many bbq fiends that it isn't real bbq unless it is served with crappy white bread (like Wonder bread). I serve all of my bbq with fresh homemade bread. And off I go, making non-kosher bbq. But it's tasty! Only one rule: Make it tasty.

              1. re: Indirect Heat

                I second the motion about making it tasty!

            3. re: Indirect Heat

              Best salsa, no fruit? Can't be done.

              That's just not true.

              1. re: cajundave

                Well, if tomato counts as a fruit (as Indirect Heat indicates), it is true. Pineapple salsa frightens me, though, and strawberry? Yikes. But that's just me!

                1. re: small h

                  Fresh pineapple and chipotle salsa goes well with pork, chicken, and shrimp.
                  Strawberries are best for ice cream.

                  1. re: Veggo

                    Mango is as far as I go along these lines. And even that requires caution.

                    1. re: small h

                      I honestly don't like pineapple in anything.

                    2. re: Veggo

                      Here is a great recipe for Pineapple salsa thats great.

                      Makes about 2 cups

                      The tropical flavors of pineapple and lime combine with red onion, cilantro and serrano pepper for a salsa that's great with grilled pork, skirt steak, shrimp or tofu. It's also delicious with tortilla chips or spooned over tacos. For the best flavor, make at least 30 minutes ahead of time to allow the flavors to mingle.

                      2 cups diced fresh pineapple
                      1/2 cup chopped cilantro
                      1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
                      1 serrano pepper, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
                      Juice and zest of 1 lime
                      1/8 teaspoon sea salt

                      Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl. Serve immediately or cover and chill until ready to use.

                    3. re: small h

                      D'accordo (I agree) small h! I like to keep it basic and, of course, incendiary.

                      1. re: ChiliDude

                        Count me in as well - love pineapple, just not in my salsa!

                      2. re: small h

                        Pineapple salsa is not particularly exotic. It's really a natural and delicious combination. Many years ago, I wasn in Thailand and the street vendors were selling grilled pineapple with a very spicy pepper glaze. Chile and pineapple were made for each other.

                        1. re: sbp

                          "Delicious" is subjective. I'm just not a fan of spicy fruit, or fruit with seafood (citrus excepted). I know that people throw chili powder on mangoes also, but I usually find this a waste of a good mango.

                          1. re: small h

                            I'd consider it a waste of good chili powder.

                            1. re: Perilagu Khan

                              Well, there you go. Tropical fruit & peppers: gotta keep 'em separated.

                  2. I agree with Indirect Heat on the fruit thing. My husband and I live here in Hawaii and you can't beat an amazing mango or pineapple salsa. But there is definitely something to be said for a good Mexican salsa too.

                    My recipe for regular delish salsa is 3 sun-ripened tomato, 1 small sweet onion, 1 jalapeno, de-seeded, the juice of 1 lime (or 1 T), 1 tiny diced garlic clove, course salt and chopped cilantro to taste.

                    For tomatillo salsa I just replace the tomatoes with fresh tomatillos and cut out the onion. Roasting the jalapeno is a nice touch too.

                    Some tips that might help you are:
                    1. Chop and de-seed your tomato, then sprinkle with some salt and set in a fine strainer over a bowl to drain some of the juice from your tomatoes. This will help your salsa have more concentrated flavors, not be as watery and you can always add in some of the tomato water if you need it

                    2. Soak your chopped onion in water if you hate raw onion flavor, this will cut the sharpness

                    3. Make your salsa the night before to allow the flavors to meld.

                    Good luck!

                    1. Here's my old standby:

                      1/2 cup pickled jalapeno slices
                      1 chipotle pepper
                      4 fresh jalapenos coarsley chopped
                      1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
                      2 1/2 t. pepper sauce #1
                      2 1/2 t. pepper sauce #2
                      1 1/2 t. garlic powder
                      1 t. salt
                      1 t. sugar

                      1. In food processer, chop first three ingredients to desired consistency (I like them almost pureed).

                      2. Empty peppers into small mixing bowl and add tomato sauce and pepper sauces. Mix well.

                      3. Add garlic powder, sugar and salt and mix well.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: Perilagu Khan

                        No onions????? Maybe your forgot????????

                        1. re: CocoaNut

                          Nah, actually there are no onions in the recipe. Strange, I know, but still spiffing good stuff. That's not to say a couple of T. of diced onion wouldn't improve it, though.

                          1. re: Perilagu Khan

                            :) Looks pretty good to me.... and thanks for giving a nod to taking that liberty with the onion! Honestly, does anyone ever follow a recipe to the letter without tweaking it to their own preferences?

                        2. re: Perilagu Khan

                          That recipe is beyond harsh. You must have a fiberglass.....nevermind.

                          1. re: Veggo

                            Sort of depends upon which pepper sauces you use. If you go the bhut jolokia/red savina route then, yes, it can be pretty tough stuff. If, on the other hand, you throw in some Frank's and Tabasco Jalapeno then it's pretty bearable.