My husband and I met almost 17 years ago at a little Italian restaurant in Oviedo, FL. I was hired as a waitress, and he was working as the chef, enrolled in culinary school. I grew up cooking. My dad passed down a passion for food that still lives in my heart to this day. So, it was only right that I’d marry someone with just as much enthusiasm for trying out new eats! Keith worked in a couple of restaurants, high-end and local dives, but eventually found his calling on the other side of the world as an electrician. However, we both still dig Anthony Bourdain (what an incredible journey that man had) and we both still browse cook book sections frequently and collaborate in the kitchen together.
Variations of Salsa
I’ve been begging the hubby for years to write a cookbook with me. He’s a stickler for “measurements” and “oz/grams”, whereas I’ve always been a “that looks like enough” type of gal. So I had to get my act together and really figure out what the measurements called for in this recipe. One simple ingredient changes the flavor of this recipe in its entirety…cumin! So the recipe below will indicate cumin as an “optional” deciding factor on how you want your salsa to taste. If you want a more western Tex-Mex taste, definitely add it. However, if you’re going for a simple and fresh lemony and cilantro base, don’t use the cumin. I personally like both, it just depends on my mood.
It was only right to start the blog with a classic, but also a very simple recipe. One that the kids have helped make multiple times, and Nathaniel (my youngest) is always my taste-tester. He gives the Cesar thumb, up or down for “more salt, or we’re good?” It’s definitely kid approved and the flavor is fresh, explosive, and brings me back home in an instant. It’s the appetizer I set out at all my functions, because who doesn’t love salsa?
This recipe will make a little over 4 cups of salsa, so it’s plenty for a huge summer back-yard party, or even if you want to freeze in smaller increments and throw in a crock-pot with chicken to kick-up dinner. It’s really great to add a tablespoon over scrambled eggs, or roll it up in a tortilla for a breakfast burrito. This salsa is legit deli-sh’, and stays good in the fridge for about two weeks, if it lasts that long! Try adding corn and black beans for a Tex-Mex kick (use frozen corn 1/2 c. & 1/2 of a 15.5 oz. can, and be sure to rinse the beans before adding). Better yet, add (3) green onions & a (1/2 tsp) of black pepper for a kick! This recipe is so versatile, mix it up, and have fun!
Summer Time Salsa
- 1 can (28 oz) Petite diced tomatoes (or use canned whole tomatoes)
- 1 clove Garlic
- 1/2 Red onion 1/2 a small or 1/4 of a large red onion
- 1 whole Jalapeno seeded (mild heat) OR seeds in (hot)
- 1 whole Juice from lemon
- 2 tbsp Cilantro a handful of cilantro (just the leaves- remove stems)
- 1 tbsp White Vinegar
- 1 tsp Cumin (optional)
- 1.5 tsp salt (start with 1.5 tsp and add more according to taste)
- Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend to desired chunkiness (more blending for a thinner salsa, less blending for a chunky salsa)
- Serve with tortilla chips
Parts & Pieces
The reason I like to use diced or whole tomatoes instead of crushed tomatoes is because crushed tomatoes are already broken down to a liquid state. Crushed tomatoes are also canned with a tomato puree, whereas, diced or whole tomatoes are canned with real tomato juice. If you blend salsa with crushed tomatoes, there’s so much water in the canning process it actually separates when it sits in the fridge. It doesn’t taste funny, or make the salsa bad, I just like when my salsa can be eaten from the container and there’s no need to mix the water back into the solidified (somewhat) form.
This is my family’s go-to weekend snack. We have salsa ALL of the time, when there’s a party, on Friday nacho movie nights, or even when the groceries are running low and we’re winging it until until the next food run. This is also a great recipe to get the kids involved with. We have jalapeno’s growing out back, so I have the boys run out and grab the “spiciest” pepper to make our salsa pop! This is one of the most simple, yet tasty treats, and I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as we do! **This recipe is for you dad! You’ve taught me how to love cooking for many years, and you always make the best salsa! Love ya!