How Many Ways Can One Make Salsa?

How many ways can one make salsa?  Good question.  I have come to think that salsas vary by individual taste and time.  Let's see, there is the jar.  Buy it, dump it, done.  Everybody has their favorite brand some bland some spicy.  That was easy enough...

I think I am on a quest for the really fresh and tasty salsas.  As I paged through this month's Bon Appetit, I noticed an article about Cinco de Mayo featuring two different salsas and pickled onions, chile-braised pork shoulder tacos and pinto beans.  Rarely do I make ALL of the dishes mentioned in a magazine article.  Rarely?  Never have I made all of them...until now.  Most of the items could be made in advance which was a plus.

The two salsas that I made can both be made one day ahead.  I made the Tomato-Serrano Salsa first.  It was very simple to make and reminded me of a pico de gallo that I had recently made.  The difference was the chiles.  I had used a jalapeno and this called for serrano.

Tomato-Serrano Salsa
Bon Appetit, May 2011

Yield:  3 cups

1 lb plum tomatoes, cored, finely chopped (about 2 cups)
2 serrano chiles, seeded, minced
1 medium white onion, minced (about 1 cup)
3 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
Kosher salt
Tortilla chips (for serving)

Combine tomatoes and chiles in a medium bowl.  Place minced onion in a strainer; rinse under cold water for 10 seconds.  Drain well and add to bowl with tomatoes.  Stir in cilantro and lime juice.  Season with salt.  Serve with tortilla chips.

1.  Rinsing chopped raw onions under cold water cuts some of their pungency.
2.  The salsa gets hotter the longer it sits.  Make one day ahead.  Cover and chill.


While I made this a day ahead, it didn't have the punch that I like in a salsa.  It was good, just not as hot as I was expecting.  That is probably a good thing because the next recipe is hot and spicy!  I must say:  I am in love with the Tomatillo-Chipotle Salsa!!  It is very simple to make and packed with flavors!

Tomatillo-Chipotle Salsa
Bon Appetit, May 2011

Yield:  2 cups

1 lb tomatillos (about 10 medium) husked, rinsed
1 small onion, sliced into 1/4-inch thick rounds
4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
3 canned chipotles in adobo, minced (3 chiles, not 3 cans!!)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Kosher salt

Position an oven rack 6 inches from broiler; preheat broiler.  Line a baking sheet with foil.  Arrange tomatillos, onion, and garlic cloves on prepared sheet.  Broil, turning occasionally, until soft and slightly charred, 10-15 minutes.  Let cool.  Peel garlic; transfer to a processor.  Add tomatillos, onion, and any juices from foil, along with chipotles.  Puree until mixture is as smooth as you like.  Transfer salsa to a bowl.  Stir in cilantro; season with salt.

Salsa can be made one day in advance.  Cover and chill.  Bring to room temperature before serving.

This salsa is my new all-time favorite salsa!!  


The addition of pickled onions to your taco or beans brings an added dimension of flavor that you won't want to miss.  I tried them earlier this year at a party.  I don't know where they have been all of my life but I knew that I was going to make them.  While these did not have the strong pickly flavor that I had enjoyed at the party, they were perfect for the tacos we prepared.   If you have never tried the addition of pickled onions, now is a good time!

Pickled Onions
Bon Appetit, May 2011

Yield:  1 cup

1 medium red onion, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. sugar
Kosher salt

Place onion slices in a medium bowl.  Pour vinegar and 1/2 cup warm water over onion.l  Stir in sugar and season with salt; let stand until slightly pickled, about 30 minutes.  Drain.

Can be made 2 days ahead.  Let cool slightly.  Cover and refrigerate.


Back to the initial many ways can one make salsa?  There must be hundreds as we all make them to meet our varying tastes.  These were great!

I am linking to Make a Foodie Friend Monday at The Saturday Evening Pot as well as Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum.  Stop by and take a look at all of the great dishes!


  1. I think the second one would be a favorite around here as well. We'll have to give it a try.

  2. You're right . . . there must be as many ways to make salsa as chili, or meatloaf, or lasagne. But I want to try the one with the tomatillos in it; never tried them, at least not fresh.

  3. They both look good, I'd love to try the chipotle one:@)

  4. LOVE the colors in this post.. Olé!

  5. Looks beautiful and sounds delicious!


  6. I am always looking for new salsa recipes. Pickled onions are my favorite!

  7. Either salsa would be delicious with mt favourite tortillas!!!!

  8. That tomatillo-chipotle salsa looks great! My husband recently went to San Antonio and brought back a cookbook devoted to nothing but salsas. Who knew there were so many variations?
    Visiting from Make a food-e-friend.

  9. Yummy, thanks for sharing the recipe. I'll serve this soon, Mr. P and the grandson are going to love it. hugs ~lynne~

  10. i think there are probably more ways to make salsa than anything else--ingredients, amounts, heat, spices, chunkiness, the variables go on and on! i like the tomatillo version here--gorgeous work!

  11. Sending a sweet hello from Frog Hollow Farm! Thank you so much for popping over to my blog from Foodie Friday. It was so nice to meet a new friend from Blogland! This pork taco recipe sounds wonderful - the salsas look great too! I love braising pork for pulled pork sandwiches but usually eat so much of it while I'm shredding it! LOL! Take care and I hope to see you again soon at Frog Hollow Farm! Ciao, bella! xxoo


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