Whole Story

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Best Ever Fresh Salsa

We’re talking ripe tomatoes, cilantro, onion and jalapeños here — not some fancy dance moves. This week in our series tracking down the “Best Ever” classic summer dishes (see Best Ever Pasta Salad, Best Ever Baked Beans and Best Ever Potato Salad) we’re focusing on fresh salsa. If you’re lucky enough to have a neighbor with a green thumb, work in an office with some gardeners or have strolled through our produce section lately, you’ve probably noticed that tomatoes are coming into peak season. Looking for ways to take advantage of locally grown, perfectly ripe tomatoes? Let us recommend our Fresh Salsa as a great use for summer tomatoes! We noticed it already has a few fans. bell wrote:
"This is absolutely delightful! Used bell peppers from the garden since I ran out of the others - made a wonderful mild salsa - good enough to drink!"
Why should you make your own salsa?
  • It’s easier than you might think! Take taco night up a notch by making your own fresh salsa.
  • It’s super fresh and delicious, and it makes a great match to grilled foods.
  • You can customize it! Make it as hot or as mild as you want it, control how much salt goes into it, use seasonal fruits when available, and go crazy with cilantro.  There are a million ways to make this your own so that it’s the perfect complement to your summer menus.
We want to know: what’s your best ever recipe for homemade salsa? Share your recipes and suggestions for what makes a great fresh salsa in the comments below. Let’s see who has the best idea! Happy summer cooking!

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Anne Wotana Kaye says …

Whole Food in London UK do not have email access for customers. They are not like the States, consumer friendly. I wish there was a way to email an urgent complaint to Whole Food. Kensington High Street. I bought a chicken marked HALAL, but when it was well cooked (roasted), we were shocked to find the leg mear and bones were filled with blood. We had to throw it away, and cannot understand how this was marketed as Halal. I hope this message can somehow reach the top management in the UK. Thanks

Rick says …

My take on fresh salsa is a cucumber-based salsa. Recipe follows: 1 whole seeded or english diced cucumber 6 seeded and diced roma tomatoes half of a medium red onion, finely diced 1 finely diced jalapeno pepper (with ribs) chopped fresh cilantro juice of 1 lime 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar salt and pepper to taste Combine all ingredients and refrigerate for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips or homemade fried pizza dough chips.

Sarah's Sea Salsa says …

How 'bout all that fresh produce and a "sea"cret ingredient?? I make a fresh salsa with seaweed! Seaweed is sooooo good for you and is mellow enough to add a salty flavor I'm currently selling at farmer's markets and small stores in Boston........working at Whole Foods for 3+ years did inspire me along the way ; )

darlene smith says …

We have been growing tomatoes in our backyard for a couple of years now and you can't believe how tasty homemade salsa can taste with fresh produce. There is a local farmer who has a produce stand not far from my house and we buy onions and peppers from him to add to our tomatoes. I really enjoy eating fresh vegetables, ripe from the garden.

andrea says …

I stick to Traditional and make Pico de Gallo Fresh juicy tomatoes,onion(any kind will do scallions, red or white or yellow or a combo.) then jalapino taste it for heat then add(you never know how hot unless you taste it) Salt very important and usually takes more than you think Kosher is what I prefer add then taste then add more as needed then a squeeze or two of lime juice start with a little and taste doesn't take much.Then add lots for me or as much as you like of cilantro......can't make it without that! The kitchen I used to work in they made a great salsa for our family meals they would Char the tomatoes on all sides(usually on a barbque but you could broil or do stove top if you have a gas stove) you also can char the jalapino(or any hot pepper) and the onion.Let cool slightly then blend in blender until smooth as you like then pluse in the cilantro add salt (lots more than you think you'll need then add lime juice. Taste to check seasoning and heat. This is very very good and strait from Mexico.

Oscar Feliciano says …

@Anne Wotana Kaye: you may want to try going back to the store, calling them or using the contact form at http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/company/service.php. Leaving a complaint about halal meat in a random comment for a salsa recipe is not the smartest thing to do.

Deb says …

We have a fairly small yard, and can't manage a large veggie garden, but every spring my family and I plant a "salsa" garden with jalepenos, red, yellow & green peppers, onions, cilantro and tomatoes. The grandkids have a ball helping us plant, care for, harvest & eat the salsa. Use all the ingredients in any combination you like for mild, medium or hot salsa and eat it fresh all summer. I wanted to offer two tips. First, peeling tomatoes (important for salsa): Dip them briefly in boiling water (until skin splits), remove them immediately then rinse in cold water. The skin will slide off. Second, you can freeze left-over salsa in air-tight plastic bags and use later in the year for any tomato-base dish. The frozen salsa really adds zest to spagetti, chilli, smothered eggplant, gazpacho, beans etc.