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 caucus-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.

all you'll need


drain your tomatoesonion, garlic, jalapeño, cilantroblend the baseadd the tomatoesall done!

* If you’ve got good fresh tomatoes where you are, don’t sleep on this three-ingredient summertime salsa, okay?

Previously

6 months ago: Morning Glory Breakfast Cake
1 year ago: Layered Yogurt Flatbreads
2 years ago: Braised Ginger Meatballs in Coconut Broth
3 years ago: Fig Newtons and Cripsy Tofu Pad Thai
4 years ago: Granola Bark
5 years ago: Caramelized Brown Sugar Oranges with Yogurt and Potato Pizza, Even Better
6 years ago: Why You Should Always Toast Your Nuts (Please!) and Obsessively Good Avocado-Cucumber Salad
7 years ago: Dark Chocolate Coconut Macaroons and Baked Eggs with Spinach and Mushrooms
8 years ago: Spinach and Smashed Egg Toast and Bee Sting Cake
9 years ago: Over-the-Top Mushroom Quiche and Banana Bread Crepe Cake with Butterscotch
10 years ago: Blackberry and Coconut Macaroon Tart
11 years ago: Baked Kale Chips and Almond Macaroon Torte with Chocolate Frosting
12 years ago: Artichoke-Olive Crostini and Chocolate Caramel Crackers
13 years ago: Spring Panzanella and Lemon Yogurt Anything Cake
14 years ago: Arborio Rice Pudding and Gnocchi with a Grater

quick, easy salsa

Quick, Easy Salsa

You could also spice this salsa with a few spoonfuls of pickled jalapeños, some puree from a can of chipotle, or a rehydrated dried chili or two. Save the drained liquid from your canned tomatoes for Bloody Marys.
  • 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.