When I make homemade salsa in my house, it’s a batch enough that seems like it can serve a small army. So that even after it’s piled, in copious amounts, atop tacos, there is enough to go into a burrito for lunch the next day. And then on eggs the following morning. And afterwards a scoop of salsa or two atop a simple salad for dinner. And of course, for a few snacks in between.
Salsa has the ability to brighten up hearty dishes, like a roasted meat in a taco. It’s a great cooling agent against a hot and spicy stir fry. It adds a bit of acidity to anything rich with dairy and eggs, and some freshness to something heavy and stewed. It’s as good on fish and chicken as it is with chips.
I love salsa for its versatility, but also for it simplicity. It’s one of those easy recipes that, once a big batch is made to dip into in the fridge at your leisure, you wonder why you don’t make it more often. Despite the simplicity of ingredients, a recipe of some sort should be adhered. Incorrect ratios of tomato to onion to cilantro will make an otherwise stellar condiment that goes with almost everything…to a simply mediocre sauce that is relegated to an old bag of chips. Likewise, knife skills also make a big difference here. Take your time when cutting the ingredients. Make sure your onions are cut evenly and precisely, that the cilantro and jalapeno are chopped finely, that the tomatoes are cut in uniform and tiny dices.
On taco nights at my house, I will sometimes have forgotten to buy sour cream on my way home from the store, or will leave out lettuce since I just don’t feel like it. I will sometimes go a little ‘fancy’ and add cast-iron sauteed vegetables. The beauty of a taco bar is the variety of options, but there is one thing that will never change. I will never, ever leave out the salsa. Recently when I tried my hand at roasting goat for tacos, I had a beautifully slow roasted gamy meat. It went on a corn tortilla with nothing more than a heaping spoonful of salsa. Simple, but so perfect.
- 1 small red onion, finely diced
- Juice from 1 small lime, about 2–3 teaspoons
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 1 1/2 pounds (about 700grams) tomatoes- rougly 6-8 medium tomatoes
- 1 jalapeno
- 2 tsp salt
- Finely dice the red onion and mix in a bowl with the lime juice. This step should be done first, so that the onion can macerate in the lime juice, which will help subdue the strong flavors of both ingredients.
- Finely chop cilantro and dice tomatoes into small cubes. Add into bowl.
- Seed and mince jalapeno, adding into bowl as well. Season with salt. Before you adjust the seasoning, store in fridge for at least an hour or two to let the flavors meld together- the acidity and spiciness of the onions will assuredly mellow, and the salsa will deepen in tomato flavor. Lots of liquid will release, so strain if you would like (I prefer to serve it as-is). Taste before serving and adjust seasoning then.
- Salsa can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days. That is, if you have the restraint to not use it on everything.