Did you know that salsa is now the number one condiment in the United States? We eat more salsa in this country than ketchup. Hard to believe, but it's true. Salsa is the spanish word for sauce and there are many, many kinds of salsa. When we refer to salsa, we mean the red kind served at most Tex-Mex restaurants with chips.
Eating salsa at home is a different story. The biggest problem for me is we don't like jarred salsa. It always has green peppers in it and Dan can't eat green peppers. It also doesn't taste like fresh salsa. You can get some fresh salsa's that are pretty good in the fresh food aisle at the grocery store IF your grocery sells it. If you can't get it, I have a solution for you!
I have been messing around trying to find a good home made recipe for salsa and I have finally hit upon it. Dan LOVES this salsa (and he's kind of picky). It's made with canned tomatoes which means the tomatoes have been cooked and that actually makes them better for you! Did you know that? Yes, there is more lycopene in cooked tomatoes. Lycopene inhibits cancer and cardiovascular disease in humans.
This recipe is really quite easy to make, but you need a blender or food processor to make it. It is not chopped like pico de gallo which is called salsa fresca and is made from fresh tomatoes, onions, chilies, and lime juice. Good pico depends on good tomatoes which only happen in the summer around here. It also takes a lot of chopping. Salsa roja can be made year round because you can always get canned tomatoes and you can use a blender or food processor. Guess which one I prefer?
Here is what you need for this salsa.
1 can Ro-Tel original, undrained (unless you like it really spicy, then get the hot kind)
1 small onion, cut in half, chop 1/2 only
1 or 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 or 3 limes (depending on size)
1 bunch fresh cilantro
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
To make the salsa, drain the can of large tomatoes and put them in the blender or food processor. Add the Ro-Tel liquid and all. Cut the onion in half and chop only one half of the onion and toss in the blender. If your garlic cloves are large, start with 1, use 2 if small. Peel, chop and toss in blender. Now for the fun. I use the "grate" setting on our blender. Whir it around just until the ingredients are mixed. You do not want ketchup consistency, but want some tomato pieces in the salsa. Next, add the salt, sugar, and juice of two limes, and a large handful of cilantro rough chopped. Whir one more time. Now taste. If it needs more salt, add just a pinch. The sugar is important because it helps cut the acidity of the tomatoes, but don't make it too sweet. Adjust lime and garlic to your tastes.
We had a big old bowl of this salsa with dinner tonight. It's delicious. Also, a serving of salsa counts as a serving of vegetables, so if you have children who are picky eaters but will eat salsa, let them eat away!!
This recipe makes about 4 cups of salsa. I keep it in the fridge most of the time. You never know when you might have some unexpected company, want a snack, or something to serve as an appetizer before dinner. Salsa roja = perfect! Give it a try.
Things to Remember:
A world without tomatoes is like a string quartet without violins. Laurie Colwin