Thursday, December 30, 2010

Salsa: How do we love you? Let us count the ways...

Who doesn’t love Chips and Salsa?  It's one of our favorite food groups. I had tried, in the past, to make salsa that compared to restaurant salsa but was continually disappointed.  Then in 2003 I was on a retreat with some women and my dear friend Catherine made this Salsa, and Eureka! …this was it!  It became a favorite and through the years has become a staple in our kitchen.  I have been contemplating when to post about this salsa, and several friends, who make the recipe, have suggested I post it.  However, I have been waiting for just the right time.  I decided that this was the week.  It is Bowl Game watching time (though, personally,  I am much more interested in watching the bowl of chips that any other kind of bowl), New Year’s Celebrating and winter days that beckon for a spicy, bowl of tastiness.

Some of the reasons we love this salsa are:
the fresh stuff
·      It can be made year round! Because it is made with canned tomatoes, it doesn’t depend on summer garden tomatoes (but you’d never know it).

·      It makes a large batch! You’ll be glad.

·      It is easy to make.

·      It ramps up Dave’s egg white wrap in the morning, which evokes exclamations from him!

·      The flavor is complex and fresh and delicious.

·      It is healthy! (How could something this yummy be so healthy?)

·      It can be made-to-your-liking.  You can tweak the heat, size of chunks, tartness, and flavor (by varying the quantities of the ingredients).
2 cans Del Monte ORIGINAL stewed tomatoes
1 can Rotel, original
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 green onions, chopped
20 + cilantro leaves
the juice and pulp of 1 lime
a couple of dashes of Tabasco (more if you like HOT)
¼ tsp crushed red pepper
½ tsp cumin (ground cumin seed)
½ tsp kosher salt (or table salt)

Place all in a food processor and pulse several times, to desired consistency.
Keeps 10 days or so in the refrigerator.
(I like it best when first made and at room temp)


scraping out the pulp

the ever-important testing step

One tip to keep in mind- if you are buying your green onions and cilantro from the grocery, you will have more than 3 times the amount you will need for the recipe. So, you might plan other recipes that call for these ingredients in the week that you are making the salsa.  You can also go ahead and buy enough of the other ingredients to make a second batch.  My friend, Melissa B. and I have a practice of sharing some of the onions and cilantro we have leftover with each other so that they don’t go to waste.  I love this quality in a friend- the produce-sharing quality.  She taught me this great tip for extending the life of lay them onto paper towels and loosely wrap them, then store in a large ziplock bag.
place flat on paper towels

Cover with more paper towels and gently roll

like this

Happy End-of-the-Year!  Celebrate with Homemade Salsa.


  1. I will definitely use that paper towel trick the next time I use cilantro!

  2. Yummy!! I've been looking for an easy salsa recipe that didn't involve fresh tomatoes. Thanks Juls!

  3. On the off chance you won't eat all of this quickly enough, I did try freezing some in smaller portions and it worked great!

    One question - can you clarify the size of the cans of tomatoes? I think I used a generic brand and ended up with bigger cans than I should have. I added more of everything else and just made a whole lot (thus the opportunity for freezing, I guess), but I would like to get it right next time.

  4. Good call on the freezing. To clarify- the can is the standard 14.5 ounce can. And regarding generics: I am all about using generic brands as a rule. I have found that the Kroger brand of stewed tomatoes has a sweeter taste than the Del Monte. But do some tasting around and see what you can find that you like and is the best price! Also, make sure that it is ORIGINAL. I learned this the hard way the time I bought Italian seasoned stewed tomatoes and it tasted more like salsa marinara. Ick.

  5. This salsa is truly the best - It's always a favorite when I make it and the people I make it for seem to adopt it as their own favorite recipe, just like I did when Julie first made it for me! and it's so easy! YUM!


    It is that good.

    No, I'm not even joking.

  7. Nothing like endorsements from you Salsa-loving friends of mine! Thank you!

  8. I made this salsa last night (not the first time, by any means) and husband (your father) said he thinks this tastes like Chili's salsa. (That's a high compliment at our house!) Of course, the chips consumed last night did NOT do well on a weight watcher's diet, but this salsa definitely helps the flavor of carrots and celery sticks! And that would yield almost NO WW points!

  9. I agree with the comparison to Chili's salsa (and the fact that it is Dad approved means a lot since he is a major salsa lover). I also agree with the downside of the chip-eating that this salsa inspires! And, unfortunately, I much prefer the salsa on chips rather than carrots!

  10. this stuff is a huge hit! so so yummy! and i have actually seen people eat it with a spoon when edible dippers are no longer available. (chips or carrots) another great recipe julie! thanks for sharing!!

  11. I made this last night and was craving it on the way home for church this morning. Super yummy! Chips, homemade salsa, and a half an avocado made a delicious lunch. :)