The next time you're craving chips and salsa, ditch the jar; homemade salsa is surprisingly simple to prepare and worlds more satisfying when made fresh. From tangy salsa verde to crisp, chunky pico de gallo and even a roasted tomato option, we've got the classic covered and then some. Keep reading for the how-to videos and zesty recipes.
Perfect for a party and ultrasimple to prepare, homemade pico de gallo is a recipe you're bound to trot out time and time again. Fresh tomatoes are the star in this Mexican food staple, so seek out the best, juiciest ones you can find. We used roma tomatoes here, but feel free to substitute whatever variety looks ripest at market. Watch the video to see the technique behind this fresh salsa, then print out the recipe.
Bring a taste of the taqueria home with our recipe for salsa verde, a tangy tomatillo-based dip that's a perfect pairing for everything from chips to tacos and burritos. Little more separates you from this smoky-spicy Mexican-fare favorite than a minimum of prep work and a blitz in the food processor, so what are you waiting for? Watch the video and get the easy recipe.
Our personal recipe for quick and easy tomato salsa is so addictive, you'll want to double up and make two batches — that's how fast it disappears. We'll show you how to make a true restaurant-style salsa, and let you in on a few secret ingredients that really enhance the natural flavor of tomatoes. Watch the video and keep reading to see the classic salsa recipe.
With Cinco de Mayo on the horizon, you'll need a lot of salsa to celebrate. Instead of reaching for bottles in the chips aisle, make this chipotle-tomatillo salsa, which will put any of the jarred stuff to shame. If you've never attempted homemade salsa, let me let you in on a little secret. I've never been able to make a decent homemade salsa before I met Michelle Bernstein, a Miami chef, restaurateur, and expert in Latino cuisine. We met at Lean Cuisine's Culinary Roundtable, where Michelle, a member of the conference, taught a group of us food writers how to prepare various salsas from different regions of South America. This is a riff on her traditional Mexican salsa.
Afraid of tomatillos? Don't be! They have a flavor like underripe tomatoes, and once you've tried them in this salsa, you'll want to experiment with them in other Mexican sauces, soups, and dishes.
The tomatillos, onions, and garlic take a trip to the broiler to become charred and softened. This adds a smoky, roasted flavor to the salsa.
If you're wondering how the salsa turns out red, it's due to the chipotle peppers in adobo. Pulse the charred vegetables, chipotles in adobo, and agave nectar (which neutralizes the spiciness, according to Michelle) together in a food processor until a smooth salsa forms. One bite and you'll be hooked on this salsa forever. It has the amazing ability to hit all the flavor profiles at once: sweet from the agave, sour from the tomatillos, spicy from the chipotle, and salty from the adobo sauce.
Few pairings work better than crisp corn chips and fiery salsa; unfortunately, this classic Mexican-restaurant starter rarely translates well to supermarket offerings. Tostitos aims to change this with its latest line of restaurant-style chips and salsa, so naturally we felt compelled to see if they could stack up to this oft-insurmountable task.
Tostitos Cantina Chipotle Restaurant-Style Salsa
Fans of smoky heat were smitten with this option, praising its prominent chipotle punch and perfect level of heat that tingles taste buds without lighting one's mouth on fire, making it all too easy to come back for seconds. One taster even noted that it lived up to its promise, as it reminded her of her favorite cantina's salsa. That said, it was a touch too smoky for some, so if you're not a chipotle super fan, skip the jar.
Tasters' average rating:
Tostitos Cantina Roasted Garlic Thick & Chunky Salsa
This roasted garlic-laced salsa left some tasters uninspired, citing a slightly too-sweet flavor and watery texture as its undoing, though most found it better than standard supermarket salsa. Those who enjoyed it touted its just-right level of punchy garlic, tanginess, and balanced saltiness. All in all, try this one for yourself: essentially, it came down to a matter of personal preference.
Tasters' average rating:
Part condiment, part salsa, gremolata is a traditional Italian herb mix made of chopped garlic, lemon peel, and parsley. It's most famously used to garnish the Italian braised veal dish osso buco, but here in Northern California, I've seen it used in everything from pasta to pizza. The fresh flavors from the lemon and parsley, plus the intense hit from the raw garlic, lighten up fatty foods, particularly those containing a lot of cheese or red meat.
It's so easy to chop together that there's no excuse not to make a small batch every day to sprinkle over just about anything: California-style pizza, pasta dishes, grilled fish or meat, steamed vegetables, and even Southern casseroles. Try using cilantro instead of parsley and orange instead of lemon for other variations. Also, play with the ratios. Sometimes a garlic-heavy, lemon-heavy, or parsley-heavy gremolata works better for certain dishes.
Be sure to chop the parsley on top of the other ingredients; it helps incorporate all of the flavors together into a paste.
It's not really a party until the dip shows up. Good with veggies, fruit, and pita bread, the sheer variety of dips make them an easy crowd-pleaser. If you've got a party coming up and want to get crazy with the dip but also want to keep calories and fat down, we've got 10 recipes for you to make!
We can't believe it either, but Cinco de Mayo is right around the corner! Planning to celebrate with friends? Besides all the tequila goodness, some delicious homemade dips can take an ordinary get-together to the next level. Instead of grabbing prepackaged salsas at the store, the easy extra effort it takes to make fresh dip will make a world of difference to your taste buds. Whether you want a classic choice or you'd like to take a twist on tradition, click through these 15 recipes for inspiration!
Instead of purchasing a jar of salsa at the grocery store, pick up the ingredients and make your own tomato salsa at home. With the help of a food processor, delicious homemade salsa comes together in a matter of minutes. Want to learn how it's done? Check out the video now! Then, after you've watched it, print out the recipe.