How to Make Fresh, Flavorful Salsa!

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Enjoy delicious salsa with these four simple recipes!

There are few snack foods healthier than homemade salsa. Done right, it can be packed with nutrient- and antioxidant-rich tomatoes, plus an ever-variable mix of nutritious flavor enhancers such as garlic, cilantro and peppers. Spicy or sweet, homemade salsa is an easy way to work healthy veggies into your diet, custom-tailored to your taste.
Try these flavorful salsas paired with tortilla chips, over enchiladas or even to perk up a Sunday omelet.

Pico de Gallo

(from Salsas! by Glenn Andrews)


  • 3 ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 to 3 jalapenos, seeded and minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, minced
  • 1/4 cup onion, minced


Combine all ingredients. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. Keeps for 3 or 4 days if refrigerated. Makes about 1? cups.

Fresh Salsa

(from Serving up the Harvest by Andrea Chesman)


  • 2 cups tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup scallions, white and tender green parts, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh chile, such as jalapeno, finely chopped (seeded if desired)
  • 1/4 cup green or red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 to 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Sugar to taste


Mix together the tomatoes, scallions, chile, bell pepper, cilantro, lime juice, and the salt and pepper.

Let sit for 15 to 30 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding sugar to taste.

Sweet Tomato Salsa

(from Salsas!)


1/4 cup onion, chopped
2 tbsp fresh ginger, chopped
2 cloves garlic
3/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup sugar (or 3/4 cup for a sweeter salsa)
2 tbsp chiles (Anaheim or New Mexico), minced
1 dash each cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg
1 16 ounce can chopped tomatoes, with liquid


Blend all the ingredients except tomatoes in a food processor or blender. Combine with the tomatoes in a medium-size saucepan. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is almost as thick as marmalade.

Refrigerate or can while still hot. Serve cold or at room temperature. (You can also try this salsa on spareribs in lieu of barbecue sauce.) Makes about 3? cups.

Roasted Habanero Salsa

(from Farmer’s Market Cooking by Sally Ann Berk)


1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp garlic, minced
6 ripe plum tomatoes, halved
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
10 habanero chiles
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped


Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Combine 1 tablespoon of the oil and the garlic in a small bowl. Place the tomatoes cut side up on a baking sheet and rub the garlic oil over the cut sides. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast for about 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool to room temperature. Chop the roasted tomatoes and transfer to a bowl.
Meanwhile, prepare a charcoal or gas grill. Grill or broil the habaneros, turning occasionally, until lightly colored, about 3 minutes. (Habaneros are famous for their heat. It’s a good idea to wear latex gloves while handling them, taking care not to touch your eyes or other body parts.) Dice the habaneros and add to tomatoes, along with the remaining 3 tablespoons oil, lime juice and cilantro. Mix well and refrigerate until ready to serve. Serves 4.

Tomatoes are low-calorie, flavor-packed and a terrific source for lycopene, potassium and vitamins C, A and K, so feel free to experiment ? it’s sure to be a nutritious, delicious adventure!

Find more tomato salsa recipes, plus fruit and vegetable salsas, cooking ideas and preservation tips in the Salsas! e-handbook from Mother Earth News.

Share your salsa tips and recipes in the comments section below.