Fresh Tomato Salsa (Salsa Ranchera)
The most basic relish of the Southwest—coarsely pureed uncooked tomatoes spiked with chile peppers—is sometimes known as salsa fresca. Store-bought salsas are generally quite good, not to mention convenient, but there’s nothing like the fresh, homemade kind.
Makes: about 2 cups
- 2 cups chopped ripe tomatoes
- 1 small onion, quartered, or 2 scallions
- 1 to 2 fresh jalapeño peppers, seeded and coarsely chopped
or one 4- to 8-ounce can chopped mild green chiles
- Several sprigs fresh cilantro
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
To prepare in a food processor, simply combine all the ingredients in the workbowl and pulse on and off until the ingredients are coarsely pureed. To prepare by hand, finely chop the tomatoes, onion, chiles, if using, and cilantro. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Store in an airtight jar. This will keep for several days, but it best fresh.
Note: The use of one jalapeño will result in a hot salsa, while two will make this downright incendiary. Those with more experienced palates are free to use as many jalapeños as they’d like.
- Here are lots more recipes for salsas, chutneys, and relishes.
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