I had a very good reason for making this, in fact, the very best reason, the only reason I ever really want to cook anything on busy weeks with no other gravitas-adding forces at play: I wanted it. Last week I had an intense craving for the kind of salsa you get in a jar, that we went through buckets of when I was in college, the kind of salsa that you’d get on a table at a Mexican restaurant that may or may not sell margaritas in cactus-stem glasses and I wondered why I didn’t have a go-to recipe for making it at home. Isn’t that, like, my purpose here? Isn’t that what I do here, week after week for nearly 15 years, share recipes I hope will become your go-tos as much as they’ve become mine? Where was my seasonless* salsa recipe?
And so I fixed it. Once I’d gathered my ingredients, it took about 5 minutes, and it tasted better than anything I’d ever bought in a jar or scooped from restaurant bowls and we finished the whole thing so the next day I made more with Rachel, who helps me out sometimes, and she said “Isn’t this just a big bowl of vegetables?” and I said “It’s basically a salad,” and, we finished that too, although I suspect we would have, emboldened or not. I hope the simplicity and ease of this matches the simplicity and ease your week requires, and it ends in lots and lots of basically-salads, plus or minus a few crisp black bean tacos, guacamole, or and possibly a perfect margarita.
* If you’ve got good fresh tomatoes where you are, don’t sleep on this three-ingredient summertime salsa, okay?
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Quick, Easy Salsa
- One 28-ounce can whole tomatoes
- 1/2 of a small or 1/4 of a large white onion
- 1 fresh jalapeño, trimmed
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Juice of half a lime (2 to 3 tablespoons)
Drain the can of whole tomatoes in a strainer set over a bowl to catch the juices. If the tomatoes look full (i.e. whole and intact), press on them a bit to release more.
Finely chop the white onion, jalapeño (removing the seeds if you wish), and garlic. Add to a blender or food processor with along with the cilantro and salt and grind the pieces a bit smaller. Add the drained tomatoes and lime juice and pulse the machine until you get your desired salsa consistency. If the mixture seems too thick, add some of the reserved tomato juice, a tablespoon at a time. Adjust seasoning to taste.
Pour into a bowl and eat right away. Leftovers will keep for up to 1 week in the fridge.