What better condiment is there that’s better than fresh salsa? It’s full of flavor, can be spicy or sweet, requires no cooking and is made of fresh vegetables, so it’s actually healthy for you as well. I mainly use it for livening up taco night. Cheese and lettuce are fine if you’re at Taco Bell on a road trip, but if you’re making tacos at home, it’s the minor details that make it great. Also, don’t limit your salsa to tacos and tortilla chips. Salsa is great on grilled chicken, a thick soup or on a sandwich. Be creative and you can spice up almost any dish.
I tried a peach salsa once that sparked my curiosity into sweet salsas. It was a bit too sweet for my taste, but the combination of sweetness and spiciness was what piqued my interest. This salsa has a simple addition of some fresh pineapple, but it’s just enough not to overwhelm the rest of the flavors. The pineapple in this salsa is especially good with fish (see our upcoming post) or carnitas. The salsa otherwise is very traditional, just make sure to use very fresh ingredients. One thing I would suggest is to try the freshly toasted and ground cumin. It is easy to just get a teaspoon worth from a jar, but for about 45 seconds of your time and effort, you will have the best smelling and tasting cumin of your life and never go back to a pre-ground cumin again.
8 Roma Tomatoes seeded and diced
1 Medium Red Onion diced
2 Cloves Garlic minced
2 Jalapeño diced
1 cup Diced Pineapple (check out our video)
1 Tspn Cumin or 1/2 Tspn Fresh Cumin seeds toasted and ground
1 Tspn Smoked Paprika
1/2 cup Cilantro rough chopped
Juice of 1 Lime
This recipe makes quite a bit of salsa as I like to have extra leftover after the meal I made it for, so feel free to half it if you think you won’t get to the rest, as fresh salsa is great on day 2, but on day 5 not so much.
For the fresh toasted and ground cumin, simply put the cumin seeds in a dry pan over medium heat and roll them around for about 45 seconds. Put them in a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder and grind to a powder. This makes a huge difference in the flavor over the pre-ground version and is much stronger, so you can use less. You can usually find cumin seeds at an international food market for only a few dollars.
The directions for making salsa are just to mix everything together and refrigerate for a few hours prior to serving. Simple as can be, so I just want to touch on a few points. Don’t skip seeding the tomatoes. If you leave the seeds in, the salsa will have a lot of liquid at the bottom. Also, don’t be surprised if after a few hours there appears to be more liquid in your container than there was before. Besides the lime juice, the salt will extract a lot of water from the tomatoes; all the more reason not to have extra juice from the seeds. You can pour most of this liquid off if you want, but do it just before serving as this liquid will help preserve the salsa a bit longer. Finally, the amount of heat you want in this is up to you. I like two Jalapeño with the seeds, which sounds like a lot but because of the amount of salsa made, it really doesn’t make it too spicy. As the flavors blend over the first few hours the heat will mellow out as it distributes.