We really love fresh salsa. The recipe below makes enough for a crowd but it's also just the right amount to make up and enjoy on the side of a few weekday meals (or lunchtime nachos). Once, I brought it to a summer cook out and spotted a gaggle of teenage girls hijack it off the table and go at it with plastic spoons. Salsa-free chips were a small price to pay because their moms told me it was the most veggies they'd seen their girls eat. Ever.
The recipe, like all good salsa recipes, is a starting point. So much depends on the freshness and flavor of the ingredients. I always seem to need a splash more vinegar and cumin. And a note about avocado...although this shot does not show it, I usually add a couple. But they must be firm, as in firm enough to hold shape when you dice them fairly fine. Do not...do not...add soft avocados. So to recap, firm avocados = salsa approved. Soft avocados = save for guacamole. And yes, I'm a little paranoid you will add soft avocados and end with a mushy mess coating all the pretty veggies and blame me.
Here is a rough guide of what I throw together. You can and should, of course, add and subtract veggies per your preferences. One of our favorite batches included a sweet (but firm!) mango to go along with grilled fish.
Heavily adapted from V and Co's Black Bean and Corn Salsa recipe
- 2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cans corn, drained (sweet shoe peg preferred)
- 4 ripe, firm roma tomatoes, diced fine (you may need more or less depending on size of the tomatoes. I don't measure but shoot for a 1:1 ratio of tomato to black beans)
- 1/2 to an entire sweet (Vidalia) onion, diced fine
- 3-4 sprigs chopped green onion if you have them (I'm Asian. We always have 'em)
- 1/2-1 bunch cilantro, leafy party only chopped fine (finely chopping cilantro can be extra work but it's worth it. I find the key is to wash it ahead of time so it has plenty of time to dry and avoid clumping together. I wash it when I bring it home, then wrap it in a paper towel and tuck into the fridge until it's needed. To chop, bunch up the leafy part, chop with a large/wide bladed knife (chef knife or cleaver), then go back over your pile again and again until it's fine enough)
- 1-2 serrano chiles, stems and seeds removed, minced (optional, only add if you like some heat)
- 1-2 firm avocados, diced fine (please review crazy-lady notes above on only adding them if they are firm)
- 3 Tbl olive oil
- 2 Tbl vinegar (I like cider or red wine. But oddly, right before serving, I find that adding a splash of good ole white vinegar brightens everything up nicely)
- 1 Tbl lime or lemon juice
- 1-2 tsp kosher salt, per your taste
- 1/2 - 1 tsp pepper, per your taste
- 1-2 tsp cumin (I actually think I put in a lot more but always start small)
In a separate container, combine the liquid ingredients and whisk to combine. Set aside while you prep the veggies. Place veggies in a large bowl and add dressing. Best if allowed to sit for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. I often make it ahead and hold it in the fridge, covered. But if making ahead, only add the avocados right before serving.