Cooking Basics

How to make salsa

By Nancy Livingstone
Info Guru,

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assortment of peppers
Fresh homemade salsa spices up your menu.
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Easy recipes for fresh salsa

Salsa is a great way to spice up meals and add zest to party dishes. While most grocery stores carry salsa, preparing it from scratch adds a homemade taste. Making your own salsa is not difficult. It requires few ingredients and very little preparation time. Here are three recipes on how to make salsa to get you started.

Fresh Salsa

Ingredients: 1 garlic clove ½ medium-sized onion ½ green bell pepper ½ to 1 whole jalapeno pepper 4 large Roma tomatoes 1 small bunch of cilantro leaves 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preparation: Mince the garlic. Chop the onion, peppers, tomatoes and cilantro. Place the ingredients in a bowl. Add the lemon juice and mix well. Cover the salsa and store in the refrigerator until serving time.

Green Salsa

Ingredients: 5 medium-sized tomatillos, husks removed ¼ small onion 1 garlic clove 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro 2 jalapeños Salt to taste 1 tablespoon cooking oil

Preparation: Chop the tomatillos and place them in the blender. Blend for 20 seconds or until smooth. Add the onion, garlic, cilantro, jalapeños and salt. Blend until smooth. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add the blended mixture. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer for five minutes. Serve. Note: Adjust the jalapeños according to your taste. For a mild salsa, use only one. Use more for a spicier salsa.

Fire-Orange Salsa

Ingredients: 3 tomatillos, husks removed 3 red tomatoes 1 jalapeño 2 dried red chili peppers 1 ripe avocado ¼ onion 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro 2 tablespoons cooking oil

Preparation: Chop the tomatillos, red tomatoes, jalapeños and dried red chili peppers. Heat oil in a medium-sized frying pan. Add the chopped ingredients. Fry over medium heat for five minutes. Transfer ingredients to a blender. Blend mixture until smooth. Chop the avocado, onion and cilantro. Add to the salsa and mix well. Refrigerate to cool. Serve chilled.

Personalize Your Salsa The art of making salsa does not need to be limited to a recipe. You can use the above recipes as a guide and make adjustments according to your taste. Adding more jalapeños and other peppers will make the salsa hotter. Similarly, reducing the number of peppers and adding more tomatoes will create a milder salsa.

Tips and Suggestions Making salsa can be even easier if you use a food chopper or processor. This speeds the chopping time and creates less of a mess to clean up.

To save time in the future, you can double or triple recipes. After making a large batch of salsa, divide it into small containers and place them in the freezer. This way you can enjoy fresh-tasting salsa year round. When a party comes up or guests come over, you will have the salsa on hand and will have more time to focus on the other items needed.

To make a thicker salsa, remove the seeds and juice from the tomatoes before preparing. You can also remove the extra liquid when boiling if you are using a recipe that requires simmering the salsa.

Salsa is a very healthy snack. To compliment this low-fat condiment, you can bake tortillas to make tortilla chips. Serve the homemade salsa with these baked tortilla chips for a low-fat snack.

Besides learning how to make salsa, you can be creative when looking for ways to use it. Think beyond chips and consider adding salsa to nachos or bean dips. You can serve salsa over cooked, grilled or fried meat or chicken.

Now you know how to make salsa and some dishes to use it in. After gathering the ingredients, start experimenting. Keep changing the recipe until you find the perfect taste to suite your palate. Then serve and enjoy!

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