Every work of art starts with a blank canvas. When it comes to making salsa, your blank canvas includes tomatoes, cilantro, onions, chiles, salt and lime juice. The rest of the ingredients are as varied as the selections at your local produce market. Before instructions are laid out for preparing homemade salsa, take a look at the list of optional (and yes, popular) salsa ingredients.
- Tomatoes - Globe (the most common one you’ll find at your local grocer), Roma (used for tomato paste), beefsteak (large, bright red, thin skin, often used for sandwiches), cherry (small, sweet salad tomatoes). Depending on the flavor and appearance you want your salsa to have, you can choose any tomato or tomato combination.
- Herbs – Cilantro, oregano, mint, basil, parsley, thyme
- Onions – Vidalia sweet, red, green, Walla Walla
- Chiles – Anaheim and California green (mild), Poblano (dark green, spicier than Anaheim), New Mexico and Hatch green (identical to Anaheim but much hotter), Chilaca and Pasilla green (very dark green), Serrano and Jalapeño
Preparing the Base of Your Homemade Salsa
- Using 1 pound of tomatoes, remove the skin by leaving them to boil for about 45 seconds before dunking them in a bowl of ice water. Once the skin has been removed, slice your tomatoes in half to remove the seeds and drain all excess water. Dice tomatoes (or use a food processor if you have one). Allow tomatoes to drain in a colander while the rest of the ingredients are being prepared.
- Dice ⅓ cup onions.
- Dice ½ cup green chile peppers. Be sure to wear gloves with the hotter peppers to prevent burns. Remove the seeds.
- Dice 2 tablespoons of cilantro.
- Put tomatoes in a saucepan and allow to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until you reach your desired consistency. Add your onions, peppers, cilantro and a pinch of salt.
- Allow the mixture to boil then add ¼ teaspoon of lime juice.
For peach salsa, use the base homemade salsa mix and:
- Add one pound of pitted peaches along with the tomatoes.
- Make sure you are using red onions, jalapeno peppers and cilantro.
- Add 1 teaspoon of clover honey to the pot after the mixture has boiled.
- Use lemon juice instead of lime juice.
For black bean and corn salsa, use the base homemade salsa mix and:
- Add 1 cup of black beans that have been soaked in vinegar overnight, drained and rinsed.
- The next day, allow the beans to simmer in ½ cup of water for 30 minutes
- Prepare the tomatoes, onion, peppers and cilantro base. Add in ½ cup of corn (fresh or frozen).
- After the beans are done cooking, pour out the water and add the rest of the salsa mixture to the pot to boil together for 10 minutes.
- Add ¼ teaspoon of black pepper and ¼ teaspoon of red chili
Take note that for each of the homemade salsa mixtures, you want to can the salsa in a sterile jar while the salsa is still hot. Be sure to leave at least a ½ of empty space at the top of the jar.
About the Author
Sorilbran Stone is an Atlanta-based new media gal and information professional. A self-proclaimed wily mompreneur, she authors the Girl Warrior productivity book series for women and is the founder and editor of Girl ReImagined, an online magazine that provides resources to promote independence and self-sufficiency in women.
Margaux at YoungNesters
The peach AND the bean and corn salsa sound really good. Even if we don't make this for gifts I'll definitely be trying it at home.
We love homemade salsa! I never thought to give it as a gift. Great idea!
We usually do homemade cookies as gifts, but salsa will be a welcomed surprise. I love the idea of mixing it up with a peach flavor. I've only had mango salsa, but may just try to make my own peach version.
Natural Mothers Network
Hi Kylie! I really love your post! It's really inspirational and tasty-looking! I think our readers would really enjoy reading this. I would love for you to come share it at Seasonal Celebration I really hope that you will put Seasonal Celebration on your list of carnivals to visit and link to us every Wednesday!
What a great idea for gift giving! I would love it if you joined the blog party I co-host...Wildcrafting Wednesday. We are always happy to have real food recipes 🙂
Natural Mothers Network
Hi Kylie, thank you so much for visiting and sharing with us on Seasonal Celebration. Hope to see you this Wednesday! Rebecca x