Introduction: Mom's Fresh Garden Salsa
Salsa is so easy to make, and it can be done completely with vegetables from your garden, or from store-bought ingredients.
Step 1: Tools and Materials
Very Large Bowl
*Recommended, but not required
Tomato - 4 x 28oz cans Crushed Tomatoes in Tomato Puree
Peppers - 4 x Green Bell Peppers
Onion - 1 x Medium to Large Onion
Garlic - 1 x Bulb
Cilantro - 2 x Bunches (index finger to thumb)
Oregano - 3 Stalks Fresh or 1/4 Cup Dried
Jalapenos - 4 x Fresh, Pickled, or Dried
Vinegar* - 1 x Tablespoon
Salt - 1 x Teaspoon
Cumin - 1-2 x Teaspoon
*Jalapeno pickle juice may be substituted.
Step 2: Tomato
Empty all the cans of tomato into the Very Large Bowl. Most types of plain canned tomato will work, with a little effort. Fresh tomatoes can also be used. I've found Crushed Tomatoes in Tomato Puree is the easiest to use, as it is already the right sized pieces in the right consistency sauce.
Step 3: Pepper and Onion
Cut the 4 Green Bell Peppers into about 1 inch squares. Remove and discard the stem, white center, and seeds. Add a handful of peppers to the food processor, and use the 'pulse' button to chop it up into small chunks. Try to avoid turning it to pepper puree. Do it a little at a time and add it to the tomato before putting more into the food processor.
Peel the onion, and cut it in half. Then take the halves and cut them again into about 1 inch cubes. As before, use the food processor to chop the onion a little at a time, being careful not to puree it. You may want to make the onion chunks a little smaller than the pepper chunks. Add it to the tomato and pepper and stir it all together. It should start looking good around now.
Step 4: Garlic
Take the garlic bulb, and separate each of the cloves. Peel them. Hitting them with the bottom of a glass jar will make them easier to peel. Then use the garlic press to mush them. If you don't have a garlic press, be creative.
Step 5: Cilantro, Oregano, and Jalapenos
Take a handful of cilantro and cut the stems off. Pull the leaves off any thick stems, and throw all the stems away. Put all the leaves and leafy stems in the food processor. If you have fresh oregano, rinse it and pull the leaves off, placing them in the food processor with the cilantro. Again, discard the stems.
The jalapenos will need to be adjusted to match the level of heat you are looking for. In my case, I wanted a medium/hot salsa, so I added 4 pickled jalapenos. Also, you can take the seeds out to make it slightly milder. Put the desired number of jalapenos in the food processor with the cilantro and oregano. Add a little bit of vinegar, or jalapeno pickle juice. This makes the salsa taste better and last longer too.
Now, puree the whole bunch: cilantro, oregano, jalapeno, and vinegar. Add it to the tomato, pepper, and onion, and you are just about done!
Step 6: Cumin and Salt
Add a teaspoon of salt, and a teaspoon or two of cumin. This may need to be adjusted based on taste. That's it!
Step 7: Storage and Customization
Store the salsa in your refrigerator in any water-tight container available. It would last a long time, if it weren't so good you eat it all in one day. That's why I made so much, because we eat a ton of it. Chips and salsa, nachos, fajitas, quesadillas, burritos, etc. I also love to use it as a salad dressing.
This is only basic instructions to get you started. You can change the recipe however you like. Try adding corn and black beans, or with lots of hot peppers like habaneros. If you don't like it so chunky you can puree all the veggies that go into it. The most important thing is that you enjoy the end result, so experiment until you get it.