Having lived in San Diego for graduate school, I ate tons and tons of salsa. The green kind, the chunky kind, the way too spicy kind, and the crappy kind. I could also never eat salsa that you buy in stores; it always tasted like old pasta sauce to me.
In most restaurants in southern California, salsa is not some bright red, warm, chunky, and questionably tart concoction. It’s a nice blended array of fresh ingredients with fresh tortilla chips that don’t have 1,000 pounds of salt on them.
This salsa is always, and I mean ALWAYS a hit with people. It has hints of cilantro, lime, and garlic that really gives it a great, fresh flavor. It’s incredibly easy to make but people will think you put forth a lot more effort than you really did. But they don’t have to know that…right? “Yes, I hand picked the tomatoes, jalapeño, cilantro, onion, and garlic from my own garden that I planted two months ago. I cried and cried through the hard labor of making this.”
Now I know, I’ve been saying “fresh” over and over already and you will see below that I used canned tomatoes. Don’t get me wrong, I love fresh tomatoes but I have experimented with this thoroughly enough to decide that canned tomatoes just make this salsa taste right. Fresh tomatoes tend to not have enough “tomato-y” flavor, while these canned tomatoes have a savory flavor that ties all of the ingredients together. Make sure to use either diced, whole, or crushed canned tomatoes. Don’t worry, it won’t taste like canned tomatoes.
First: place all of your ingredients, but the salt and lime, in your hamster grinder. I mean, your food processor. If you don’t have one, a blender will work just fine. I used about 1.5 cups of tomatoes, handful of cilantro, 1 jalapeño, 1/2 onion, and two small cloves of garlic (or one large one?). Blend until smooth.
Second: pour your mixture into a bowl and squeeze 2 wedges of lime with 1 teaspoon of salt and mix.
Third: place in the refrigerator and chill. This salsa tastes better the next day but can be consumed right after you’re done making it.
Extras: you can use any type of onion, I prefer vidalia onion. Since you don’t cook this salsa, make sure not to use a tear-inducing yellow onion.
You can also use serrano peppers instead of jalapeño.