When we go to a new Mexican restaurant, whether or not we will return is based 95% on the quality of the salsa. Which is crazy because the salsa is the freebie… shouldn’t I care more about the part that I am paying for!? But no. As soon as I sit down I am anticipating the salsa. Will it be the right texture? What if it’s too spicy? Will it be that horrible liquid taco sauce? It better have cilantro! If the salsa is a good mix of tomato, onion, cilantro and garlic… heaven. Now, the only question that remains is will I be able to stop eating the chips and salsa to leave room for dinner? The answer is usually no!
When I decided to post this recipe I asked my husband what I should call it. His suggestions included “drinkable salsa”. He just wanted to forgo to chips all together and drink it right out of the bowl. I would say that’s a pretty good review. It reminded me of when my daughter was little, she would eat it by the spoonful. Another pretty good review, from a very picky eater! However, we decided on Restaurant Style Salsa because that is what everyone wants, your favorite restaurant salsa at home.
A Few Salsa Tips
Tomatoes are the star in this recipe. Now is not the time to save $0.75 at the grocery store. Get the canned tomatoes you think are the best. For this batch I meant to buy a San Marzano diced tomato but ended up with peeled tomatoes in sauce- whoops! So I used a can of Hunts diced tomatoes, which ended up working great. I would just steer clear of the Best Value brand of tomatoes at your store.
One thing I hate about eating a recipe with raw onion is the lingering onion taste 4 hours later. No matter how many times you brush your teeth! One way to alleviate this is to rinse your onion after they are sliced. I slightly separate the rings and run them under warm water for about 30 seconds . This rinses away the enzyme that makes the onion flavor linger. I’m pretty sure I learned this tip from an episode of Alton Brown on Food Network. #science
Make The Salsa Your Own
This Restaurant Style Salsa is wonderful as is. It is exactly how I like MY salsa. But, I know that some people like their salsa a little spicier. You can bring up the heat by adding a little chipotle in adobo. Beware of the heat- a little goes a long way. Only add a little at a time, making sure you are not overdoing it. The chipotle in adobo will also add a smoky flavor. If you are not into that smoky flavor but still want the heat I would suggest adding a little jalapeno instead.
- ¼ cup cilantro - firmly packed
- 2½ tablespoons fresh lime juice
- ⅓ cup red onion, sliced and rinsed
- 2 garlic cloves
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 28oz can diced tomatoes
- In a food processor or blender add the first 6 ingredients plus ½ cup of the tomatoes. Process for 10-15 seconds, until no large chunks remain.
- Add the remaining tomatoes and pulse 7 times.
- Serve immediately or store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
The salsa is best if you can make it ahead and let it sit in the fridge for 12
Use the canned diced tomatoes that you feel are the best quality.
After slicing the onions give them a rinse under warm water for 30 seconds.
This will eliminate the lingering onion flavor after eating the salsa.
For spicy salsa add a little chipotle in adobo or fresh jalapeno in the first
blending with the onions and the cilantro.