Making the perfect salsa

Nothing completes a delicious Mexican meal like a good salsa. Nothing detracts from it, though, like a bad salsa. If you’re tired of those watery, store-bought dips, consider making your own. Making a homemade salsa is quick and simple, and you can customize it to make it just as spicy as you prefer. Whether you learn to cook online or are just looking to experiment with your dips, follow these tips to make a dip that everyone will want the recipe for.

Don’t skimp on the tomatoes
You would not have a classic salsa if it weren’t for the tomatoes, so choose them wisely as they’re the most important building block.. Flavorful, juicy tomatoes like plum, roma, beefsteak and vine-ripened tomatoes make for the best salsas. Skip cherry tomatoes since they’re mostly skin and definitely choose tomatoes that are currently in season. De-seed them as well, to prevent your dip from getting too watered down.

Unless you don’t want a tomato-based salsa
There are other juicy fruits that make for a great salsa base. If you’re down to try something tropical, consider mangoes or pineapples. If you’re interested in a salsa verde, trade the tomatoes for tomatillos. You can also add various fruits to a tomato-based salsa for some sweetness.

Decide if you want it thin or chunky
If you want a salsa that’s more like a sauce – to add to dishes like tacos or burritos, use a blender to chop up your veggies. But you can also make something chunky, which is better for dipping, cut everything up by hand, as you can determine the consistency.

Fresh or smoky?
Whether your salsa tastes fresh or smoky is determined by how the vegetables are prepared. Fresh-tasting salsas are left raw, simply put in the refrigerator after preparation. Smoky salsas are made with roasted tomatoes and peppers. There is no right or wrong way to go about this – make it just how you like it!

Pick your accent flavors
While peppers are a must, which types you should use depends on your personal tastes. If you prefer your salsas with a bite, consider adding some jalapenos or chipotles. If you like it more on the mild side, go for bell peppers or poblanos. Popular herbs to include range from cilantro, parsley and basil. You can even add some mint for a refreshing aftertaste. And don’t forget the onion!

Let it sit
By and large, tomatoes are a bit flavorless when up against peppers and onions. Give your salsa an hour or so to marinate before serving or eating it so the tomatoes get the opportunity to soak up some of the more flavorful notes. Salsa can usually keep for a few days, but it typically tastes better when it’s fresh.

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