In the United States, salsa usually refers to a delicious tomato-ey condiment. Sasa is not limited to tomatoes; wonderful salsas come from a variety of fruits and vegetables. Literally translated, salsa means sauce, so of course it could come in many flavors and textures. Salsas has become an extremely popular accompaniment and condiment. In fact, salsa recently replaced ketchup as the #1 condiment in the United States. 

Salsa de Avocado

 1. Cut the top off of the Serrano peppers. (This is critical; they will otherwise burst.)

2. In a frying pan cook tomatillo and Serrano peppers until lightly brown.

3. While cooking tomatillos and peppers, cut the avocados in half. Remove the seed and put aside for later use.

4. Combine soft insides of the avocado, squeezed lime juice and remainder of ingredients in the blender.

5. Blend until smooth.

6. Add the avocado seeds into the mixture to prevent browning. Pour into serving dish and garnish.


Pico de Gallo Salsa

If you want something super quickly, get ready. Here are the steps.

1. Toss all ingredients into a bowl.

2. Squeeze lime over the mixture.

3. Toss mix and garnish.

Wow! In less time than a commercial break, you made a fabulous chunky dressing you can use to garnish a meal, add to rice, stuff in a burrito, toss on a taco or dress up tortilla chips (and about a million other uses.) Whew, that was way too easy!

But you wanted salsa, not some chunky dressing! With a couple extra steps, we can create a simple classic salsa. Buyer beware. . . this recipe has nearly no heat; the spiciest ingredient is chopped onion. Turn up the heat with a tsp paprika (spicy), cayenne (hot), finely diced jalapeños (hot), or finely diced habañeros (fire).

4. Toss ¾ of the mix into your blender.

5. Blend 2 seconds, and shake. Blend 2 more seconds, and shake. Blend 1 more second.

6. Pour the ingredients into a serving bowl or Tupperware, including the chunky ¼ that you set aside.

7. Garnish and serve.

You can also make large batches and freeze your salsa for up to six months. If you go this route, make sure you package it in small enough batches. Don’t thaw more than you need. . . you should not re-freeze your salsa once it has thawed completely.


Southwest Style Black Bean Salsa

The ingredient list may seem a little familiar. We added ingredients to the Pico de Gallo Salsa listed above. This Southwest Style treat is also similarly simple, with only a couple extra steps. You still spend virtually no time on this one; not more than ten minutes start to finish until you have a fresh and healthy snack.

1. Put the tomatoes, onion, cilantro, lime juice, garlic, paprika, and diced jalapeño into your blender. If you opt to use green chili peppers and cayenne, add them as well.

2. Blend on a low setting 2 seconds, then stop. . . Shake thoroughly and repeat. Salsa should be moderately chunky.

3. Add corn or hominy and black beans.

4. Garnish.

It’s a shame to waste food, and I realize you’ll have leftover beans, corn and jalapeños. Soon, I’ll post a crock pot recipe for a soup you can make with the remaining ½ onion, black beans and corn. You can also mix the remainders together and heat them up for a nice side dish. Or toss it onto rice for a spicy appetizer!