I struggle with store bought salsa. It's often tastes very salty (loaded with sodium), contains preservatives... and I wonder often what's in it!
Here's a quick and easy way to make great tasting salsa far cheaper and healthier than you can get in the store.
My kids love this too and help me make it, often experimenting with other ingredients.
Ingredients and a price breakdown are below! Enjoy!
1 can diced tomatoes
Granulated garlic: 1tbs
Onion powder: 1 tsp
Black pepper (fresh ground if you can): 2 pinches, or a few grinds
Olive oil: 2 tbs
Tobasco: 1 tbs (adjust to taste after it's made. Start out with about a 1/2 and then adjust. I'll use two or three sometimes!)
Balsamic vinegar: 1/2 - 1tbs
Sea salt (or any salt that you've got, table, kosher, whatever): 1 pinch
Fresh cilantro, washed and rinsed: 1/4 to 1/3 of a bunch, about 20-25 sprigs)
1 tablespoon measure
1 teaspoon measure
… or you can estimate, and adjust to taste, a dash of this, a shake of that
Mixer of some sort... depending on taste and texture you want, what you have, or what you have time for! A spoon, potato masher, a food processor or Cuisinart Stick Mixer (which I use... very handy).
Price breakdown: I had to prove it to myself how much it typically costs!
1 can diced tomatoes, 28 0z $1.79
Garlic powder 5 cents
About 45 cents worth of cilantro, guessing about 1/3 of a bunch... I like a lot of cilantro in salsa!
54 cents of olive oil (about 27 cents per tbs)
Balsamic vinegar 5 cents
Tobasco: 6 cents
Onion powder 5 cents
= ~2.99 !!!
28 oz for 2.99... a fresh vibrant taste and no mystery ingredients ; )
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Step 1: Assemble the Ingredients
I toss everything on the table or take it out of the cupboards as I go. Here's the cast assembled for a photo op ; )
Step 2: Open the Tomatoes and Toss on a Bowl
Pretty easy... Open the tomatoes and toss in a bowl.
There are differences between diced tomatoes, but they all are generally pretty decent and shore up well in this salsa.
Step 3: Add the Dry Ingredients
Toss on the granulated garlic, onion powder, salt, and a couple grinds of black pepper.
Step 4: Add the Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Pour in the extra virgin olive oil.
Step 5: Add the Balsamic Vinegar
Add the balsamic vinegar... pretty easy.
Note: Over doing it here can really mud this recipe up. Start with a bit and then add in more at the very end if you'd like.
Step 6: Add Tobasco
Add in your Tobasco. I toss in three shakes or measure. Again, start out with less and add after it's blended if you want it hotter.
I've used the chipotle Tobasco as well which adds some good smoky flavor.
Step 7: Chop Your Cilantro: Step 1
Take your cilantro and cut off the stalks. It's not a perfect science... I just grab the bunch, line it up decently and hack the stocks off.
Step 8: Rough Chop the Rest of the Cilantro Greens
Rough chop the rest of the greens. Notice the fingers tucked in when you chop ; )
Step 9: Toss the Greens in With the Rest
Toss the greens in with the rest, again, pretty easy but I'd rather spell it out!
Step 10: Fold in the Ingredients With a Spoon
Fold the ingredients together.
Some folks like it just like this (the second picture in this step), chunky. Give it a try, you might like it. I prefer it chopped finer... as you'll see in the next step.
Step 11: Grind!
I use a Cuisinart Mixing Stick to grind this salsa up but you can use a food processor, even a potato masher if that's what you've got.
If you use a mixing stick or a food processor... go slow and test with chips on the way to figure out how you like it. Grinding it too fine loses it's texture and color of the cilantro and also that extra zing when you bite into the leaves.
Step 12: Final Texture... and Enjoy!
That's about the texture we prefer this salsa... some visible clinatro and texture still in the tomato.
We eat this... a lot!
There are some ways to spice it up further if you have time and / or the ingredients handy...
Fresh green pepper
Fresh chopped white onion
Chop these with the cilantro and add in before grinding up a bit.
I also experiment with different kinds of tobasco, I'll squeeze in a half a fresh lime on occasion, or add a few pinches of chili powder or cayenne pepper.
We'll often whip up a double batch and just leave it in the fridge and eat it over a few days.
When my kids were younger, I ground it up a bit finer (so the green stuff was less visible... the great parent trick) and it really turned them to love salsa and to experiment in making it.
We'll eat this on scrambled eggs, use it instead of salad dressing, whip up nachos, and even made a pizza with it a few times, using this base instead of pizza sauce ; )