salsa, old school style

I’m just gotta say it. I am a lazy cook. I always almost always take the easy, quick route, if possible. Rarely do I deviate from this methodology, it just works for me.

Unless you’re talking about salsa. During tomato season.

I saw these beautiful Romas the other day at the grocery and I couldn’t resist. I can only make salsa a few times each season, it’s so laborious, but my taste buds could hold out no longer.

I bought ’em. And brought ’em home.

Then I chopped them up before making them endure more cruelty in the food processor.

There are certain unnamed people in my family who would be positively repulsed by biting into a large chunk of tomato. They love salsa, but hate tomatoes. Whatever. Clearly, I indulge them.

So I chop, and then chop some more in the food processor, just to be sure. For this recipe I used 24 Roma tomatoes. Definitely buy more tomatoes than you think you need.

Since I was doubling my usual recipe, I used 2 onions. Not sure if they’re white or yellow. It doesn’t matter to me. That’s just how I roll… I’m easy like that.

Again with the chopping and the processing. That someone with the tomato issue has an onion issue as well.

So my onion looks more like onion mush than anything else.

But at least the onion gets in there. It just wouldn’t be salsa without onion.

And garlic. Lots and lots of garlic.

Now that is something we all love around here. 13 cloves to be exact.

And jalapeno. Honestly, I don’t mess with jalapeno too often. It can be dangerous when cooking for small children. But this is one occasion that calls for the real deal.

I just make sure to seed them well. Very well.

And pulverize the heck out of them. Here those 2 hotties are with all that garlic. Man, does that just make your eyes water? It did mine.

And cilantro. My love. I stray often, using the dried version. And even when I remember to buy fresh for a recipe, often cilantro turns to a brown watery mess before I get to it. But not this time.

Not when there is salsa to be made.

I don’t even chop it before it goes in the food processor. Cilantro is easy that way.

Just look at it. Like a snowy, green topped mountain of deliciousness.

Limes. One of the final ingredients. At last, the chopping and pulverizing is over.

And I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. That and salt. Lots and lots of salt.

And just a smidge of syrup. In lieu of maple syrup (which my husband used up without telling me) I used regular pancake syrup. No one seemed to mind.

There it is… hours of work and it all comes down to this.

Totally worth every second.



  1. OH YUM. I also love salsa, but I often make the cheater's version (using Rotel tomatoes). It's SUPER yummy, but I was looking for a 100% fresh salsa recipe. I am totally going to try this. I wish I could try it right through the screen!!

    I *heart* cilantro too. The smell of it is just the BEST. I'm planting an herb garden with LOTS of fresh cilantro this year hoping I will just be able to catch a whiff of it throughout my day! :)

  2. The Gang's Momma says:

    I just gotta ask – why the syrup?

    My hubby and boys are huge fans of salsa – of any kind, canned fresh or otherwise. I've never made it homemade, but my in-laws do it all the time this way. Everyone raves about their salsa.

    Maybe I'll get brave and try this one . . .

  3. Yummers! Syrup?.. who'da thunk??
    I guess is tames a little of the "tomatoe" taste.
    Thanks for sharing your salsa recipie!! Mind if I borrow?

  4. Mom to my China Posse says:

    Looks yummy!

  5. I love salsa too. We have a garden this year with Lots of tomatoes, cilantro and peppers ! Thanks for the recipe.

  6. Amie@WildOlive says:

    dude. who emasculated hungy Jack?
    Gonna have to mooch this recipe for our burritos tonight. Good timing my friend. Thx for hookin' me up!


  7. Thanks for sharing your recipe. I too am one of those weird "dont like tomato" people who loves salsa(that is as long as there are no big chunks) My husband laughs at me at restaurants with chips and salsa. I will dip my chips in, but not scoop the big chunk salsa. (I have issues)

  8. Colleen says:

    There you do sista!!!! We love homemade salsa!!!! My boys like it hot….me, mild. The mean mom in me makes it extra hot so my sweet little boys burn their little tongues…then they don't complain that I didn't make it hot enough : P

    I know I know….evil Mommy 0: )

  9. Your "unnamed person" sounds like his mother – she will not eat tomatoes, but loves the salsa I make for family gatherings. :)
    Our recipes are almost exactly the same, except for the syrup – I may have to try that. I can't wait for the tomatoes in our garden to ripen . . . .
    Love to all!!
    (P.S. Asher's card was just mailed today, so it may be a day or two late)

  10. Patricia/NYC says:

    My mouth is WATERIN' girl!!! We are a salsa-lovin' fam here in nyc!! Looks fabulous! Will definitely try it!!

    And look at you channeling the PW! πŸ˜‰ LOVE IT!

  11. That looks really good. I'm going to have to try it!

  12. Rebecca says:

    DELISH! Must. Make. Salsa.

  13. ummmm! I'm off to the grocery story (wishing it were the farmers market!)..

    Thanks for taking the time to post this!!

    Rock on any time you feel like a recipe! I'm beginning to the the PW has rubbed off on you! Yehaw! She better watch out as this one looks pretty darn amazing!

  14. mom 2 many says:

    Ok, I have basically the same recipe except without the syrup. What does that do??


  15. What time should I come over? Love the salsa. It looks YUM-O!


  16. Chips and Salsa… one of my faves!!!!


  17. Well, I'm reporting back that I marched myself right out to the grocery store, purchased my 24 Roma tomatoes, 2 sweet onions, Jpeppers (more on that later..), fresh garlic, etc… and made your salsa!!! It was out of this world! Truly! At the last moment I chickened out and only put in one Jpepper AND I'M so glad… my peppers are spicier than your peppers πŸ˜‰ OUCH!

    The children raved, the husband raved, the grandma raved, the aunt and uncle I sent some of the left overs to raved..

  18. Almost my recipe – 'cept for the syrup. hmmmm I think I use a pinch of sugar so I guess it is basically the same – yummy! bummer it is winter here :(

  19. Looks awesome… I'm gonna have to try the syrup tip… I've never used that in mine before.

  20. Sally- That Girl! says:

    I have never used maple syrup in my salsa before, I will have to give it a try.

    I make my own salsa year round. I have a little secret for you….canned whole tomatoes work lovely. I got this idea from a dear mexican friend of mine who always makes her own salsa. I literally put all the ingredients into the food processor at one time and pulse away. I am always getting requests for my salsa. In fact so much so that I am going try selling it to help raise funds for our next adoption.

  21. Melissa says:

    I also LOVE salsa, and that looked SO gooooood!! We are growing cilantro, tomatoes, and peppers this year but don't think I'll be able to wait until they're ready-guess I'll be hitting the grocery :)

  22. This reminds me so much of a trip the kids and I took to Texas to visit some friends, and they made wicked homemade salsa… I think I could have eaten that stuff (with Tia Rosa chips), for the entire week, and not gotten tired of this.

    Thanks so much for posting, and for the photos!!

  23. Yummy!

  24. Table for Six says:

    yum-O it was just like being on PW's site! hehehe with that post!!

  25. Elizabeth Bergeron says:

    Yummy…looks similar to my recipe except for the syrup so I will try that this summer. I'm new to following your blog thru a friend, MP. You have a wonderful family.

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