Fresh Tomato Salsa
We planted our usual garden in the spring and watered and fertilized all the plants ~ in fact, we watered more this year than I can ever remember because of the stretches of 90+ temps and very little rain. We lovingly cared for these little plants until some of the tomato plants grew almost as tall as me. Don’t get too excited ~ I’m only 5’2″. Our reward for all this tending is lots of tomatoes. Lots.Of.Tomatoes. We’ve eaten them in a variety of salads, including Italian Pasta Salad and on sandwiches. Eventually they’ll be turned into marinara and frozen but for now, I’m enjoying the freshness of this Fresh Tomato Salsa.
My husband and I have been making Fresh Tomato Salsa (in some parts it’s called Pico DeGallo) for more than 20 years. Knowing how much I love the stuff, he brought a recipe home from a business trip to the west coast a long time ago and we’ve been making it ever since. In a blind taste test, you’d never know the difference between our batches, but if you actually looked at a side-by-side comparison you’d see what can only be described as the vast difference in our personalities. His tomatoes are cut precisely the same size and neatly cubed. Mine. . . are not. I’ve tweaked the original recipe here and there over the years to suit my own taste and I have to tell you, if you like fresh salsa, you’re going to LOVE this one. This Fresh Tomato Salsa even converts people that are ho-hum about salsa. It’s that good.
We’ve all bought jars of salsa from the grocery store and several years ago they started stocking what’s called “fresh” salsa, so maybe you’re wondering. . .
Why bother making homemade salsa? Is it worth the time and trouble?
The answer is yes . There are actually some really delicious “fresh” salsas in grocery stores right now that I’ve bought many times and will continue to buy. Okay, so then why am I using quotation marks around the word “fresh”?
Well, there’s fresh. . .and then there’s fresh. Let me explain. The fact is the freshest salsa in your supermarket can never be as fresh as the one you make at home. If you’re lucky enough to pick tomatoes from your own garden they literally go from vine to table in hours. If they’re from the farmer’s market, they’re probably not much older than that.
Fresh Tomato Salsa is made with just a few simple ingredients:
- vegetable oil
- white vinegar
- fresh lime juice
- coarse sea salt
Gently blend the chopped, diced, minced, squeezed and sprinkled ingredients in a bowl until everything is combined. Cover and refrigerate at least an hour (2-4 hours is recommended).
When using dry herbs, give them a little rub between your thumb and index finger to wake up their flavor.
- Fresh Tomato Salsa is easy to make, delicious as a dip with tortilla chips or on top of your favorite Mexican recipes, like these Chicken Quesadillas ⇑ or Shrimp Tostadas.
- Store bought salsa has more sodium than Fresh Tomato Salsa.
- Last and maybe most important, I’m kind of a salsa snob and in my book, fresh wins every time.When winter comes, as she inevitably does, “fresh” salsa from the supermarket will be King ~ or Queen again.
Until then though as long as tomatoes are as plentiful as sweet corn, I’ll make it fresh. So whether you call it salsa or Pico DeGallo, tomato or tomahto, fruit or vegetable, slide the jar to the back of the refrigerator – It’ll keep a while. Make it fresh.
Do you have a favorite tomato recipe? Leave me a comment. I’d love to read about it!
- 2 ½ – cups of tomatoes, diced and goop removed (it’s okay to mix tomato varieties)
- 1 – tablespoon of vegetable oil
- 1 ½ – tablespoons of fresh lime juice
- ¼ teaspoon of coarse sea salt (or more according to your taste)
- ¼ cup of finely minced cilantro leaves
- ½ teaspoon of oregano
- 1 – tablespoon of white vinegar
- ½ cup of onion, finely diced
- 2 – tablespoons of jalapeno, minced (or more if you prefer more heat)
- Combine all ingredients.
- Cover and refrigerate at least one hour; 2-4 hours for better flavor.