Basic salsa

As a child, my vegetables of choice (meaning the only ones I really ate) were peas, corn, and of course ketchup (or tomato sauce). I remember trying to force myself to eat raw tomatoes once in college, and the consequences were not pretty. Real salsa wasn’t part of my childhood for the most part either, since Mexican food for us usually meant Taco Bell, and I wouldn’t exactly say their packets of sauce are remotely like a fresh salsa. When I moved to LA after college and would dine at authentic Mexican restaurants, I was exposed to real salsa, and it quickly became my favorite condiment. Nowadays, I will put salsa on anything and everything. Nothing says good morning like eggs with a hefty dose of salsa. As I’ve never been really big on salad dressing (ranch and bleu cheese make me gag), salsa very often is my go-to salad dressing. And the best part? Salsa is super healthy and good for you. No additives or preservatives, and oh-so-tasty when made with tomatoes picked fresh from your own garden.

6 Roma tomatoes
½ bunch cilantro
½ white or red onion, peeled
~ juice of 1 lime
1 jalapeño pepper
1 habanero (optional—only use if you want an OMG my mouth is on fire salsa)
1 clove garlic
~ fresh ground pepper

There are two ways to make this salsa

Method #1: Take all ingredients and mix in a food processor. You do not need to chop anything. Just pulse a few times and you are done.

Method #2: Hand chop the tomatoes, cilantro, onion, peppers and garlic, and combine in a bowl with the lime juice.

Variations—It really is incredibly easy to make your own salsa, and you can get all kinds of creative with this too. Oven-roast your tomatoes, onions, and peppers first (like in the Fire-Roasted Salsa in this book), and then mix in a food processor. Use some yellow or purple tomatoes and add in chopped bell (sweet) peppers. Try adding in some chipotles or green onions or use lemon if you have no lime, the possibilities are endless! Whatever you make, it typically keeps in the refrigerator for at least one week.