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Basic Salsa

Image credit: Voltaire D.J. Lerias licensed under: CC0 1.0

Basic Salsa

Recipe by Garden Member: Tammy

A fresh and flavorful salsa with no need to cook!

Basic Salsa (enough for 4-6 people):

  • 4 or 5 small tomatoes- plum or hydroponic (or fresh from the garden). Not too juicy, unless you want the juice for something else.
  • about 1/3 of a green bell pepper
  • about 1/3 of red, orange or yellow bell pepper (can use frozen chopped)
  • 3 green onions
  • 1/2 to whole lime
  • about 1/2 handful of cilantro – hard to measure – maybe 10 sprigs; 1/4 c
  • (opt) couple tomatillos, paper husks removed & rinsed well
  • (opt) some hot chilis, chopped – I only do a very small amount. Use gloves while chopping!  I chop a bunch & freeze them
  • (opt) about 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
  • (opt) 1 large sprig of italian (flat leaf) parsley
  • teaspoon or so kosher salt
  • fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 can green chilis (4.5 oz can)
  • Dash green jalapeno sauce, couple dashes Texas Pete sauce

  1. Finely chop tomatoes, green & colored peppers, tomatillos, and the green onions (using about 1/2 of the green part).  I prefer the texture of hand chopped to about 1/4″ or smaller dice.
  2. Chop the hot red peppers even finer. 
  3. Chop up the cilantro and the sprig of parsley – can snip with scissors.  The finer you get it, the more the flavor melds. 
  4. Add in the minced garlic (I used bottled) and the 1/2 can of green chilis. 
  5. Sprinkle salt over all, dash the hot sauces, grind the pepper to taste. 
  6. Juice 1/2 of the lime over all, then stir to see how much juice comes out.  Taste.  If it’s too salty, add more lime; if it’s too sour, add more salt. Some like a hint of sweetness, so you can add a sprinkle of sugar (I don’t). 
  7. If it’s too juicy, drain off some of the juice and use as a topping for rice.  It will get juicier as it sits.


It’s all a touchy-feely thing, depending on the flavor of the ingredients and what you like.  Experiment, and keep tasting till you hit on your favorite combo.  I do a basic salsa frequently with just the non optional stuff listed above, whatever I can get my hands on. Tomatillos add a nice lemon-sour note, and have a nice texture to help thicken.  You can do it w/o the cilantro, but it lacks depth.  Ditto for the ripe peppers.   You can use regular onions in place of the green, but I much prefer the green flavor & texture.  The green chilis are a nasty texture & color, but add so much flavor, imho it doesn’t work without them.  I have added cucumber, corn and other things in the past, which is a nice change or way to stretch salsa. Jicama & black beans are other ideas.  You can also add in chunked avocados as a way of bridging guac/salsa.  Just don’t mix too much or you’ll get a thin guac (add the avocadoes last).  This keeps well for about a week in the fridge, but will continue to get more watery.  Great over rice w/some sour cream!