Simple Mexican Salsa

I recently traveled through Houston and Austin, Texas, and of course chowed down on some slammin’ eats along the way. I was lucky enough to pick up this super simple yet deliciously authentic Mexican salsa recipe that’s too good not to share.

For me, this Simple Mexican Salsa brings back sweet memories of studying abroad in Cuernavaca, Mexico during college. Countless mornings my host mom would throw a bundle of various veggies and herbs right into her blender, and then dollop several fat spoonfuls of salsa onto my breakfast plate. So simple, yet so incredibly flavorful. 

It seems that the trick to a great salsa is cumin. Cumin has a very strong flavor, so it’s best to err on the side of less than more, but salsa devoid of cumin often just falls flat. 

Similar can be said of the serrano peppers featured in this recipe – jalapeños or other spicy peppers can be used as a substitute, but in my experience no other pepper has the same smooth, even-kneel spiciness of serranos. 

Finally, here’s my white-girl-makes-salsa disclaimer: this recipe was developed from a list of ingredients provided by a Mexican American woman I met on my travels. While recipe testing I was working as a line cook at Foragers Table, a fine dining farm-to-table restaurant in Manhattan, and was able to ask many of my Mexican and Ecuadorian coworkers their opinion. They gave rave reviews, with the one suggestion that I reduce the heat, and as a result the final recipe calls for adding the serrano seeds to your own taste. 

¡Que disfruta!

Simple Mexican Salsa

Ingredients:

  • 2 roma tomatoes*, roughly chopped or chunked for easier blending
  • 1-2 serrano peppers, with seeds removed then roughly chopped or chunked for blending
      • Optional: Add more peppers and/or seeds for a spicier salsa
  • 2 garlic cloves or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of salt*, or to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Optional: Cilantro to taste

Steps:

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor.
  2. Blend or process! Select a slower speed for a chunkier salsa, or fire up the high speed for a thinner yet consistently flavorful final product.Taste, adjust seasonings if necessary.
  3. Enjoy! 

Use as a dip with tortilla chips, slather over tamales, pair with eggs and tortillas or rice, dollop over nachos, or add to any other salsa compatible meal you can imagine!

* Recipe Notes:

  • Roma tomatoes are oval shaped, and smaller than regular beef  tomatoes. Due to their smaller size, they pack bigger flavor and less water.
  • Tomatoes pair well with salt! You may find yourself adding much more salt than seems “right”. Don’t be afraid – add as much salt as it needs until it tastes good to you!  
  • As with any sauce, this salsa tastes even better after a day or two in the fridge – if it lasts that long!
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