David’s Salsa Recipe

Salsa recipes are very personal – it can be made in many ways, and everyone’s taste is different.  My salsa evolved under the influence of two factors – I dislike large chunks of tomato, and we grow a lot of tomatoes in our garden.  Thus, I use a lot of different types of tomato in my salsa whenever possible, and I spend a lot of time chopping them into small bits.


  • Tomatoes – approximately 6-8 (a mix of types is best)
  • Onion – a quarter of a sweet onion, or two small white onions
  • Pepper – a third of a large red or orange bell pepper
  • Pepper – two medium Jalapeno peppers
  • Garlic – a few cloves, or a scant tablespoon of chopped garlic
  • Red Wine vinegar – one tablespoon
  • Tomato sauce or Taco sauce – two tablespoons
  • Tequila – one to two tablespoons
  • Spices – add to taste: salt, white pepper, anjo pepper, onion powder, ground cayenne, ground chipotle, dried parsley, ground cumin, dried cilantro, dried epasote

Notes on preparation:

– I usually chop all ingredients into smaller pieces than most commercial salsas.  While more work, it ensures that you get a bit of everything in each bite.

– I taste before adding the spices, to determine how hot the jalapenos were, and add ground cayenne or chipotle pepper as needed to get the proper heat level.

– I’m mildly allergic to cilantro, but I will occasionally add it when I’m making salsa for guests.

– Good spices are key.  These days, we use Penzey’s spices almost exclusively, as they are no more expensive than supermarket spices but are much fresher and tastier.

– Tomatoes: whenever possible, I use the heavier paste tomatoes such as Roma, as they have more flesh and less juice.  I also use smaller cherry or grape tomatoes when they’re available.  The more varieties you can incorporate, the greater the range of flavors.  My summer salsas usually have at least four tomato types.

Chopping the tomatoes

David's Salsa


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