Salsa Fresca, A General Recipe

Salsa Fresca —
The Relish & Embellishments


For our palates, it's nearly impossible to beat the taste of fresh salsa.
Also known as pico de gallo, salsa cruda,
salsa bandera, salsa picada and salsa Mexicana,
Raw salsa can bring tears to your eyes,
sweat to your brow and oxygen to your sinuses!

Salsa Fresca is an ideal salad dressing because it has few calories.
Salsa Fresca is great for carnivores, herbivores, vegetarians and vegans alike.
Add avocados for guacamole or add your favorite fresh vegetable or fruit.

Start a Salsa Fresca Garden and grow your own ingredients:
Most ornamental peppers are edible and the colors can be fantastic.
For the healthiest salsa, use only produce from your own garden.

Try our recipe and then experiment with your own.
Ours makes almost a pint, depending on the size of the ingredients.
To make a larger batch, multiply the recipe by 1.5, 2 or more.

Salsa Fresca is acidic and will etch (stain, marr, damage)
some (unprotected) countertop and utensil materials such as marble.
Most glass, plastic and stainless steel are immune.
Know the capabilities of your utensils and work surfaces.


They contain capsaicin, an irritating acid used in self defense sprays.
You may want to wear protective gloves.
Do NOT touch your eyes or face: keep your hands below your shoulders!
Take potty breaks before starting!

There are Seven (7) Essential Parts:
Tomatos, Onions, Peppers, Garlic, Gilantro, and Lime Juice.
The balance of onions, tomatoes, peppers and garlic are especially critical.
Except for salt and possibly garlic, we suggest using two different ingredients in each category.

Use the best LOCALLY GROWN, FRESH and ORGANIC ingredients you can find or grow.
tomato(s), enough to equal the volume of the onion
Use the tastiest home garden tomatos, local organic tomatoes or tomatillos. Some tartness is critical. Use tomatillos exclusively to make salsa fresca verde (green raw salsa) or combine to add a special tart flavor to any salsa.
white onion, 1 medium
Best additional onion to add is purple/red, green (scallions), or chives. If you add yellow (brown?) onion, use very little. Yellow onion has a strong taste which should be used only to accent the flavor. Vidalia onions are too mild to substitute for the primary onion.
peppers: at least 1 spicey pepper and 1 sweet pepper
Add spicy peppers to taste. If you want, make it so spicy that you can have it all to yourself 8^) Use at least one jalapeño pepper but there is a whole universe of other peppers. We often use serrano, cayenne, ornamental, ripe jalapeño (they eventually turn red and milder), banana peppers and even some unidentifiable varieties. Habañero? Yup, but the habañero spiciness does not seem to have the lasting spiciness that a green jalapeño has, so use those together.
Also add one or two sweet (bell) peppers picked especially for color. These mild peppers give color, bulk and flavor accent . We have used (fresh) pimentos and several different colors of bell pepper. Properly ripened bell peppers are colored - yellow, orange or red. That is probably why they cost more than green ones.
garlic, 1 or 2 cloves equivalent of full size ordinary garlic.
We try to use both regular and elephant garlic. Are there other kinds? We have put gross amounts of garlic in the recipe, as much as 2 elephant cloves and 2 regular cloves per onion and more. A large amount of garlic also adds its own spiciness and softens the heat of the peppers. It seems one can't put too much garlic in salsa; perhaps this challenges the "more is not better" maxim. Garlic and onion are both members of the lily family but each contributes unique flavors to the salsa.
salt, about 1 to 3 teaspoons (make sure you put this one in!)
or to taste. Potassium salt? calcium salt? Salt helps to bring out the flavor and spiciness of the peppers. Is your finished salsa too bland? Perhaps you should add more salt.
other spices: cilantro, 4 stems to an entire bunch; some fresh rosemary
Add this wonderful spice according to your taste. A few fresh rosemary leaves will add a great flare. Other spices (to taste) if you dare: freshly grated ginger, horseradish; ground cumin seed (very exciting), turmeric, cinnamon; freshly grated nutmeg. if you use spices that are not fresh (alive) then increase the amount. Although not a spice, you can add as much fresh parsley (not Italian) as you like for texture, body and vitamins without altering the flavor signigicantly. We have even used fresh horseradish root -- now that WILL clean out your sinus cavities!
the juice of 1 small (or several key) lime, add lemon juice to taste.
Using commercial refrigerated or even frozen lemon juice made from concentrate is OK if there are no additives. Small amounts of other fresh citrus; even citrus pulp may be added for excitement. Try grapefruit or tangerine. However, the bulk of this category should be lemon and lime juice, unless you like it sweet. Try adding a small grating of lemon and/or lime peel.

Mix and Chop the solids to suit your personal tastes. A small hand-crank food chopper seems to give the best combination of speed and control of the chunk size. Hand-chopping with a chef's knife may be more personal and pleasing. We have not yet used a glass or ceramic knife, but intuitively feel non-metal knives produce healthier salsa.

A little lemon juice and lime juice in each batch helps the food chopper turn more easily. The compromise is between the tartness and the runniness and the tartness usually wins out. Just pour off the unwanted liquid and save as a base for salad dressing.

If you can resist the temptation to eat it all now, put some in the refrigerator overnight. The flavor reaches a peak with one to three days of refrigeration. This also helps the jalapeño and green bell peppers to mellow and the garlic to suffuse. Refrigerated fresh, salsa may keep for a week or more, but some ingredients such as peaches or avocado may cause it to spoil earlier. It's best when prepared a day or two before you and your friends consume it.

FRESH USES: (raw food lovers)

COOKED USES: (if you really feel the need to kill your food!)



Enjoy the heat, the flavors and the fumes,
kx staff, family and friends

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