Cinco de Mayo is almost upon us and this simple restaurant style salsa recipe can be whipped up in less than 15 minutes! Bet you don’t know why the 5th of May is an important date in Mexican history…yeah, I didn’t either. The date celebrates the Mexican Army’s victory to the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. In Mexico the day is celebrated in more ceremonial ways like parades.We in the USA are thrilled to have another day to eat, drink and celebrate…even if we don’t know what for 😉
All that said you will get no complaints out of me, I love Mexican food; and whether it’s Cinco de Mayo or Cuatro de Abril I will throw down some chips, salsa and guacamole 😉
Many people like to go out to celebrate, Dave and I like to stay in with the kids and have fun concocting our own (hopefully healthier) versions of Mexican restaurant favorites. Restaurant style salsa is typically a little soupier than others. There are fewer “chunks” within…but tons and tons of great fresh flavor. If possible, use all fresh ingredients (though admittedly I use garlic from a container because we use so much of it). Tomatoes are just really coming into season about this time of year. If you are making salsa during the winter months in the midwest, you’re probably best to use canned tomatoes as they will have more flavor. If you still want to use fresh tomatoes November-April you’ll probably want to add more salt and pepper for flavor.
Check out my “Oh crap I forgot it at the store…Homemade-ish tortilla chips” and simple guacamole dip.
Dice 2-3 Vine-ripe tomatoes.
Dice 1 cup of red onion
If you have fresh garlic, use 1-2 cloves. Either mince them or put them through a garlic press. We use so much garlic in our house I buy in bulk. If you do the same add about 1 teaspoon.
If you want the heat in your salsa, dice half of it up with the seeds inside. If you prefer a more mild salsa then cut the jalapeño in half and remove the seeds before you dice.
Tip 1: to remove the seeds easily, slice the jalapeño in half from top to bottom. Take a spoon and dig out the seeds.
Tip 2: when handling jalapeño it's best to wear latex gloves to protect yourself from the oils. They easily find their way under your finger nails and can be difficult to wash off. One incident with jalapeño in your eye and you will never forget to wear them!
While pressing firmly on the counter, roll the lime to loosen the juices. Slice the lime in half and squeeze the juice from both halves of the lime into a small mixing bowl.
Chop 1/3 cup fresh cilantro
Add all the above ingredients into your blender along with salt and pepper to taste. Blend until desired thickness. Restaurant style salsa tends to be a bit more on the soupier side with fewer "chunks". If you have a Vitamix you can switch it to the smoothie setting and it will do the work for you.
To finish this dish off, I add some additional freshly chopped tomatoes and cilantro to garnish.