Three Authentic, Restaurant-Quality Salsa Recipes

Posted on: 14 December 2017

When you visit a Mexican restaurant, you typically sit down to a table and are greeted with a basket of freshly fried corn chips, alongside a heaping bowl of salsa. That salsa is just so delicious—and in most cases, that's because it is made in house. Luckily, you can make similar salsa at home if you have a little patience and the right ingredients. And you can even customize it to suit your own tastes! Here are three recipes for restaurant-quality salsa that will have you helping yourself to seconds and thirds.

Fresh Tomato Salsa

If you prefer fresh, raw salsas with a hint of crunch, then this recipe is for you. Leave out one of the serrano chiles if you don't want it quite as spicy.

Ingredients (to make four cups of salsa):

  • 3 medium tomatoes
  • 1/2 a large red onion
  • 2 serrano chile peppers
  • the juice of one lime
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • a pinch of dried marjoram
  • a pinch of ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Remove the stems from the tomatoes, and scoop out the seeds. Chop the tomatoes finely. Also chop the red onion into small pieces. Remove the seeds and stems from the serrano chile peppers. If you like a lot of heat, you can leave some of the seeds in. (They're very spicy.)

Toss the minced tomato, onion, peppers, marjoram, salt, lime juice, and cumin together. Let sit for an hour at room temperature; this allows the flavors to come together. Sprinkle with the fresh cilantro, and enjoy.

Classic Cooked Salsa

If you prefer a more classic, cooked salsa with pureed peppers and tomatoes, this is it! Do plan ahead when making this recipe since it needs to simmer on the stove for 30 minutes. It's best if you chill it down after preparing it and serve it cold, though you could certainly serve it warm.

Ingredients (to make 5 cups of salsa):

  • 1 10-ounce can of diced tomatoes and chiles
  • 2 fresh tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup white onion, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1 fresh jalapeno pepper
  • 1/4 cup green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • the juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Remove the stems and leaves from the tomatoes, and chop them roughly. Place all of the ingredients except for the cilantro and lime juice in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer, and simmer for 30 minutes. Use an immersion blender to blend the salsa to the desired consistency. Chill, if desired, and then stir in the cilantro and lime juice just before serving.

Salsa Verde

This salsa's name means "green sauce" in Spanish. It's a great alternative to traditional red salsa, and it's lovely on tacos and enchiladas as well as on chips.

Ingredients (to make 3 cups of salsa):

  • 1/2 pound fresh tomatillos
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 2 serrano chile peppers, chopped and seeds removed (You can substitute green jalapenos if desired.)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups water

Remove the husks from the tomatillos. Chop them roughly, and add them to a pot along with the onion, chile peppers, garlic, salt, and water. Bring to a simmer, and simmer for about 20 minutes or until all of the ingredients are tender. Use an immersion blender to puree the mixture. Then, bring it back to a simmer and simmer for an additional 20 minutes to thicken. Stir in the cilantro just before serving. Taste the salsa verde, and add additional salt if needed for flavor.

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