Just in time for March Madness! Make enough to get you from the Sweet Sixteen to the Final Four, and you won’t be sorry. Here’s what you need:
Tomatoes, canned jalapenos, fresh cilantro, and — my secret ingredient, cribbed from The Pioneer Woman’s salsa — two cans of Rotel. Here’s her original post, where she also makes some killer nachos. This fresh salsa is awesome with heirloom tomatoes from your garden or the farmer’s market, but regular old supermarket tomatoes will do just fine, too.
- 2 1/2 cups tomatoes (about 3 heirloom) or 1 28-oz. can whole tomatoes
- 2 cans (10 oz) Rotel diced tomatoes and green chilies, mild or medium
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped fine
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- jalapenos to taste (start with a few slices and add if needed)
- 1/2 cup cilantro
- 1/4 tsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- juice of 1 lime
Using a large food processor or blender, combine all the ingredients until you get the consistency you desire. I err on the side of chunky and not smooth. Test the seasonings, refrigerate for an hour and serve! This makes a pretty good-sized batch, so you can definitely bring plenty to a party and still have leftovers (or, if you have a huge family, just eat it all at one sitting).
I used this handy guide to figure out how many garden tomatoes would give me the same quantity as a 28 oz. jar of the whole canned variety (the answer: about 2 1/2 cups). So if you have no choice but to sub in the canned kind, that’s the size you want to grab.
This salsa has a satisfying smooth yet chunky texture with a tiny bit of heat, but not too much. In my opinion the fresh cilantro really makes it, but you can certainly adjust to your preference if cilantro isn’t really your thing!
***IMPORTANT!!!*** If you are considering canning your salsa, please consult a guide such as the Ball Canning Book or a reputable reference for proper food preservation — this website is a good place to start — because you can’t just take any old salsa recipe and throw it in a hot water bath to preserve it long-term. There are USDA guidelines over the ratio of acidic foods to alkaline ingredients to prevent spoilage and growth of dangerous bacteria. Unless you are using a pressure canner, please be very careful while canning salsa or similar sauces! Mine are pictured in Mason jars because I gave them out as gifts the day after I made them, so they’re safe to keep in the fridge for up to 6 weeks.
Want to learn how to make jam? Check out my how-to guide for fruit preserves.