Salsa

Green Beans with Salsa

An easy to prepare green beans recipe with tomato and chile salsa. A southwestern twist on the classical haricots a la Provencale recipe.

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 6 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4

One of my mother’s quick and easy dinner vegetable side dishes is this green beans with salsa.

Similar to the southern French classic of green beans with tomatoes, garlic, and onions, this dish takes a southwestern detour and uses salsa, which has the same ingredients as the French dish, with the addition of chilies.

It’s perfect for the summer when fresh green beans are plentiful. The trick of course to great tasting green beans is getting fresh beans!

The best come from neighborhood gardens or the local farmers market. Look for beans that break when you bend them. Limp beans are old and won’t taste good.

If the beans have strings, remove them as part of prep. As you snap the beans to remove the stem end, pull down the side of the bean to draw out the tough string that sometimes accompanies green beans.

Note there are many kinds of salsa! Typically salsas are comprised of tomatoes and chiles (cooked, canned, or fresh), chopped onions, garlic, vinegar, and oil. For years we made our own salsa using canned tomatoes and chiles. Now there are some store-prepared salsas that are just as good as the salsas we used to make at home. Any prepared salsa (cooked, not raw) will work with this recipe, whether you make it from scratch or buy it already made.

Ingredients

  • Fresh green beans – 1 1b, strings removed, stem end cut off, cut into even sized pieces, approximately 2″ long
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Prepared salsa

Method

1 Boil the green beans: In a medium sized pot, add enough water to cover the beans (about 2 quarts). Add 1 tablespoon of salt for every 2 quarts of water. Bring the water to a boil. Add the beans and boil with the pot uncovered for 5 minutes. Remove from stove, strain out the beans, set aside.

2 Heat olive oil, add beans and salsa:  Put the empty (dry) pan back on the stove over high heat and add the olive oil. Let this heat up for 1 minute, then toss in the beans and about 1/2 cup of prepared salsa.

Toss to combine and cook 1 minute. Add salt or more salsa to taste.

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Simple Green Chile Tomato Salsa

Quick and easy tomato and green chile salsa, with canned cooked tomatoes, green chiles, scallions, garlic, oil, vinegar, oregano, and cilantro.

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 2-3 cups

There are two basic types of tomato-based salsas — salsa made with fresh tomatoes and salsa made with cooked tomatoes. When cooking salsa, as we do when we make enchiladas, we always use the cooked-tomato version, not the fresh.

This particular salsa is popular in the north, or Sonoran part of Mexico, because of its use of Anaheim green chiles.

Starting at age seven it was my job to make salsa for our family, which I did at least once a week for ten years. This is the recipe we used, the only difference between now and the mid-60s is that now you can get some very good canned “fire-roasted” tomatoes, perfect for salsa making.

Salsa ingredients

This salsa uses almost all pantry ingredients. You’ll need canned tomatoes, green chiles, olive oil, red wine vinegar, oregano, garlic or garlic powder, salt, pepper, green onions, and cilantro.

Why used canned tomatoes?

If you live where we do, and in most places in the U.S., you can only get great fresh tomatoes maybe 2 months out of the year.

If you do have access to good tomatoes and want to make the effort to roast them yourself, go for it! Put several tomatoes under a broiler until the skin is blistered all over, remove from the oven, let cool, remove the skin. You can do the same with the Anaheim chiles.

Easy enough for a child to make

Yet, the beauty of this recipe is that it is something a 7-year old can make in about 10 minutes — pretty useful when you are trying to get dinner on the table.

And speaking of dinner, the way we usually serve our salsa? with steak and refried beans.

More great salsa recipes

Like salsa? Check out these other terrific salsa recipes:

  • Canned Tomato Salsa
  • Tomatillo salsa verde
  • Fresh tomato salsa fresca
  • Corn Salsa
  • Mango Salsa

Ingredients

  • 1 28-oz can whole tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted (Muir Glen makes an excellent product.)
  • 1 7-oz can green chiles, chopped*
  • 1 clove of garlic, or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or garlic salt
  • 2 green onions (scallions), chopped, including the green parts (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano (can supplement with fresh)
  • 1/4 cup of very loosely packed fresh chopped cilantro
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

*Or one large 6 inch or two smaller Anaheim chiles, roasted under a broiler or directly on a gas stove burner so that the outer skin has completely blackened. Put into a brown paper bag for a few minutes after roasting to loosen the blackened skin. Remove and discard the blackened skin. Remove the stem, seeds, and ribs. Chop.

Ingredients

  • 1 28-oz can whole tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted (Muir Glen makes an excellent product.)
  • 1 7-oz can green chiles, chopped*
  • 1 clove of garlic, or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or garlic salt
  • 2 green onions (scallions), chopped, including the green parts (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano (can supplement with fresh)
  • 1/4 cup of very loosely packed fresh chopped cilantro
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

*Or one large 6 inch or two smaller Anaheim chiles, roasted under a broiler or directly on a gas stove burner so that the outer skin has completely blackened. Put into a brown paper bag for a few minutes after roasting to loosen the blackened skin. Remove and discard the blackened skin. Remove the stem, seeds, and ribs. Chop.

Method

1 Break up the canned tomatoes: Remove just the tomatoes from the can of whole tomatoes, place in a medium sized non-reactive mixing bowl. Using your fingers, or a fork and a sharp small knife, shred or break up the tomatoes.

2 Add the rest of the ingredients to the tomatoes: Mix in chopped green chiles, green onions, garlic (or garlic salt), olive oil and vinegar.

Add back in about 1/4 cup of the tomato sauce from the can of whole tomatoes.

Sprinkle with about 1/4 teaspoon of dried oregano. Mix in and taste. Adjust if needed. Add cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste.

Refrigerate when not using. Will keep several days.

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Mango Salsa

Mango salsa with fresh diced mango, red onion, jalapeno, cilantro and lime. Perfect with seafood.

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 1 1/2 cups

When mangoes are in season and plentiful at the market, it’s hard to resist making mango salsa. It’s so easy!

It’s a great salsa to serve with chips for a gathering, and it’s terrific as a side to fish dishes such as halibut or salmon.

And fish tacos? Mango salsa is perfect for fish tacos.

For some variations to this recipe fold in a cup of either some finely diced cucumber, red bell pepper, or jicama. It’s also great with avocado!

It will be easier to dice a mango that is still a bit firm, ripe, but not too soft.

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted, and finely diced (about 1 1/2 cup) (See: How to Cut a Mango)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 1/2 jalapeño chile, minced (less or more to taste, make sure to actually taste the chile first, some of them can be quite hot!)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Method

Put the diced mango, red onion, jalapeño and cilantro in a medium bowl. Toss with lime juice. If the salsa is too acidic for you, stir in some diced avocado.

Serve with fish, steak, tacos, or tortilla chips!

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Bell Pepper Salsa

A quick and easy, delicious salsa recipe to accompany steak and meat dishes is this bell pepper salsa, seasoned with red chile flakes, onions, and parsley, basil or arugula.

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 5 minutes

Salsa pictured over grilled tri tip steak.

Salsa doesn’t have to be made with tomatoes, nor does it even need fresh chiles.

A quick and easy, delicious salsa to make to accompany steak and meat dishes is a bell pepper salsa, seasoned with red chile flakes, onions, and parsley, basil or arugula.

Ingredients

  • 1 large bell pepper, stem and seeds removed, finely chopped
  • 6 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped arugula, basil, or parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Ingredients

  • 1 large bell pepper, stem and seeds removed, finely chopped
  • 6 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped arugula, basil, or parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method

Combine all ingredients into a small bowl. Serve with steak, carnitas, or carne asada.

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Pineapple Tomato Salsa

Fresh pineapple tomato salsa! Great with fish tacos or grilled steak.

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Makes approximately 3 cups

A few weeks ago I got together with Garrett to roast some chile peppers and make some coconut pineapple cupcakes.

We had loads of extra pineapple, and all the other ingredients for a great salsa, so naturally we put them all together, and voilá! A great combination.

Use the tomato pineapple salsa with fish tacos, or over grilled steak or pork, or even wrapped up in a heated flour tortilla with a few slices of avocado.

Take care when handling hot chile peppers! Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and hot water after handling them. Avoid touching your eyes.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup chopped fresh pineapple
  • 1 cup chopped fresh plum tomato (about 2 plum tomatoes)
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 Anaheim chile, roasted, seeds, stem, and veins removed, chopped OR 1 fresh serrano chile, seeds and stem removed, chopped
  • Juice of one or two fresh limes (2-3 Tbsp, to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, packed

Method

Combine all of the ingredients in a medium sized bowl.

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Kiwi Salsa

Kiwi salsa with kiwifruit, pomegranate seeds, avocado, and jalapeño chiles. A bright fresh salsa, perfect to accompany Mexican dishes!

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Makes about 1 1/2 cups

We have a kiwi fruit vine that is rather prolific, to put it mildly.

“The untamed beast”, “vine from hell”, or simply “the monster” are a few of the names my father and I have given this plant.

Or plants. There may be two of them but I rarely fight my way through the mass of leaves and fruit to see what is really growing there. It’s my mother’s baby, so we are only allowed to cut it back when it threatens to completely overtake the vegetable garden, which it does on a weekly basis all summer long.

Kiwi fruit, also known as Chinese gooseberries, were first marketed to the US by New Zealanders, who call themselves “kiwis” after a native bird of New Zealand. They have a rough brown skin, which once peeled reveals a bright green interior, tart and hard when unripe, soft and sweet when ripe.

Although we are used to eating them in the summer, that’s because we’ve been importing them from New Zealand for years. The season for kiwifruit is actually in the fall and winter; we start picking ours in late October.

While in New Zealand last year I consulted with a local chef to see if I find some ideas of things to do with the profusion of kiwi fruit our vines produced. He suggested using them the way one might use a raw tomato, in that they are both acidic and sweet, and recommended making salsa with them. Brilliant!

Here is a lovely spicy seasonal salsa that I put together today using a few kiwifruit, with some pomegranate seeds for added color and sweetness, and avocado to balance out the acidity of the kiwifruit. Serve with tacos or steak.

Ingredients

  • 3-4 ripe kiwifruit, peeled, carefully chopped
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds (arils)
  • 1/2 avocado, peeled and chopped (see how to cut and peel an avocado)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon thinly sliced green onion
  • 1 tablespoon (adjust to taste) of chopped fresh or pickled jalapeño chili peppers (no seeds)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients

  • 3-4 ripe kiwifruit, peeled, carefully chopped
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds (arils)
  • 1/2 avocado, peeled and chopped (see how to cut and peel an avocado)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon thinly sliced green onion
  • 1 tablespoon (adjust to taste) of chopped fresh or pickled jalapeño chili peppers (no seeds)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Place the kiwifruit, pomegranate seeds, avocado, green onion and olive oil in a medium sized bowl.

Starting with just a teaspoon of chopped jalapeño, gently fold in and add more to your desired level of heat.

Add cilantro. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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Kumquat Salsa

Festive kumquat salsa! Perfect for seafood, made with tiny kumquats, cilantro, and red onion.

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Makes about 2 1/2 cups of salsa

Have you ever tried a kumquat? They’re these little citrus fruits, like miniature oranges, not much bigger than a grape, that you can eat whole, even the seeds.

You can slice them and add them to salads, or just pop them into your mouth for a quick snack.

A friend stopped by the other day with a container filled with kumquats (don’t you love friends who bring you food?) and a mission to make salsa.

What follows is the citrus-y salsa we made with the kumquats, which I’ve been eating up with fish and in steak tacos.

You could easily add some chopped mango or avocado to the salsa, and chop it up more finely if you wanted to use it as a dip for tortilla chips.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups chopped cleaned and thinly sliced kumquats
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of kosher salt

Ingredients

  • 2 cups chopped cleaned and thinly sliced kumquats
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of kosher salt

Method

Combine all ingredients. Add more or less red pepper and cayenne to desired heat. Let sit for 1 hour for the flavors to more fully blend.

Great served with steak or seafood such as halibut, black sea bass, or salmon.

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Simple Cooked Tomato Salsa

Mexican Cooked Tomato Salsa, made by simmering puréed fresh tomatoes, jalapeno or serrano chili peppers, garlic, and salt.

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 18 minutes
  • Yield: Makes about 1 1/2 cups

My friend Arturo taught me how to make this simple salsa the other day. He calls it “Salsa Fresca”, which he says is what this salsa is called where he’s from in Mexico.

What we in the states usually call salsa fresca, a chunky salsa with chopped fresh tomatoes, onions and chiles, is something completely different.

Looking for similar recipes in some of Diana Kennedy’s books I find several references to “salsa de jitomate” or simply, “tomato salsa”, and none for salsa fresca. But that’s not surprising. The names for dishes, and even ingredients, can vary widely, depending on where you are in the country.

Fortunately, the salsa is more simple than its name’s etymology.

Likely you’ve had it before, if you’ve ever stepped inside a taqueria. There you usually have a choice of salsas, one smooth, red, and hot, the other made with chopped fresh tomatoes, onions, and chiles.

This would be the first—the smooth, red and hot one. It’s great for dipping tortilla chips, or over quesadillas.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sized fresh tomatoes, cored and cut in half
  • 1 whole jalapeño chili pepper (or a serrano), stem removed, chopped
  • 5 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sized fresh tomatoes, cored and cut in half
  • 1 whole jalapeño chili pepper (or a serrano), stem removed, chopped
  • 5 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

Method

1 Purée ingredients: Put tomatoes, jalapeño, garlic, salt, and water into a blender. Purée for 20 seconds, until completely liquified.

2 Simmer for 15 minutes: Heat olive oil in a sauce pan on medium high. Pour purée into pan. Bring to a low simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture completely changes color from light red to a much darker red, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat.

Keep refrigerated when not using.

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Peach Salsa

Summertime salsa made with fresh peaches, jalapeños, shallots, lemon, mint, and ginger. Great with salmon or pork!

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Resting time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Makes about 2 cups

Have you noticed the beautiful peaches and nectarines in the market?

I find them so hard to resist, and often buy more than I can eat.

Here’s a quick and easy salsa, made with fresh peaches, jalapeños, lemon, ginger and mint, that goes beautifully with the grilled meats of summer.

Try serving this with grilled pork, chicken, or fish. Perfect! Also makes a great dip for chips.

This recipe calls for peaches, but you could easily use nectarines. Habaneros work well in this salsa, in place of the jalapeños, but watch out, they’re hot!

Ingredients

  • 4 ripe but firm yellow peaches, chopped (skin on or off, your choice, skin on makes for better color, but if skin is too thick or fuzzy you may want to peel first)
  • 2-3 Tbsp chopped shallots or onions
  • 2-3 jalapenos, chopped (stem, seeds and ribs discarded)
  • Juice of a lemon
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 2 Tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Method

1 Put the chopped peaches, shallots, and jalapeños in the bowl of a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients. Pulse 2-3 times, just enough to get most the pieces small and to well combine the salsa. Do not liquefy it.

2 Place salsa into a bowl and cover. Let stand for an hour before serving to give the ingredients time to meld.

Serve with chips, with fish, pork, or chicken.

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Grilled Tomatillo and Corn Salsa

Tomatillo salsa made with grilled tomatillos, grilled corn, jalapeño, onions, garlic

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 6 cups

You know what the secret is to amazing salsa?

The grill.

Get some char on the main ingredients (in this case tomatillos and corn); the resulting smoky flavor is out of this world.

It’s why “fire roasted” canned tomatoes are so perfect for Mexican and Tex Mex recipes. Grilling your tomatillos will make a regular tomatillo salsa unforgettable.

Grilling tomatillos couldn’t be easier. You just husk them and put them on the hot grill until they are lightly charred.

The best way to grill corn for this salsa is to leave the corn in their husks and put them on a hot grill and grill them until the husks are completely blackened all the way around. That way the corn absorbs the smoky flavor of the corn husks as it cooks.

Great with chips or a salsa for tacos.

This recipe makes a batch of salsa big enough for a crowd. Feel free to cut the recipe in half.

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds of tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed clean
  • 2 corn cobs, husks still on, OR 2 cups of cooked corn (Trader Joe’s has frozen roasted corn which would work great)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño, minced (remove seeds for less heat)
  • 3-4 Tbsp lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/8 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup finely diced red onion

Method

1 Grill the tomatillos: Prepare grill for direct, high heat. Place the tomatillos directly on the grill. Turn occasionally until charred in several places, and the color indicated the tomatillos are cooked and changes from vibrant green to olive green.

2 Grill the corn: If you are grilling the corn as well, place the corn cobs, still in their husks, directly on the grill. (If you are using fresh corn, there is no need to soak them in water.)

Grill until the husks are completely charred and blackened all around. (See How to Grill Corn on the Cob.) The flavor from the charred corn husks will cook into the corn as it grills.

Remove from grill. Let cool. Strip off the burnt husks and silks from the corn cobs. Use a sharp knife to cut away the corn kernels from the cobs.

3 Pulse tomatillos, cilantro, garlic, jalapeño, lime juice, salt, cayenne in food processor: Place the tomatillos, cilantro, garlic, jalapeño, lime juice, salt, cayenne, cumin and oregano in a food processor. Pulse until puréed, with a few remaining chunks of tomatillos.

4 Stir in the corn and minced red onion. Adjust seasonings, add more salt to taste.

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