Heirloom Tomato Salsa Fresca

tomato salsa

I always have a jar of salsa in the back of my refrigerator. Doesn't everyone? Whenever I'm in the mood for snacking, I reach for it and a bag of tortilla chips. But if I'm craving something a bit more jazzed up, I'll fry tortilla wedges and make my own fresh salsa or my favorite guacamole. I do it so often that I can pretty much prepare everything in a matter of minutes for any occasion, be it a simple get-together with friends or just me on the couch.

It's already fall but that doesn't mean it's time to say goodbye to summer produce. I still have a lot of tomatoes ripening on my table, as well as a few slow pokes on the vine. So to utilize some of those beautiful yet sometimes slightly blemished heirlooms, I decided to make this simple fresh salsa. All it consists of is chopped tomatoes, onions, jalapeno, and cilantro. Lime juice, salt and pepper are the finishing touch. This is my go-to recipe for salsa using pretty heirloom tomatoes from my garden.

heirloom tomatoes

A good step in making salsa is to first peel the skins from the tomatoes. Blanch them in boiling water for a few minutes to facilitate the removal of their skins or just peel them as they are. I skipped that step here so that I could show off the colorful skins. But an essential step is to remove the seeds. Cut each tomato in half through the waist and squeeze the seeds and membrane out over a bowl with a sieve. Save the juice for adding to the salsa or for another use entirely. I like fresh salsa on the slightly watery side so I use the reserved liquid, but you can use freshly pureed tomato to make the salsa thicker. Try this salsa for an easy appetizer or snack. It's a sweet way to say goodbye to summer weather.

Heirloom Tomato Salsa Fresca

6 medium to large heirloom tomatoes in different colors, seeded, chopped, and liquid reserved
1 small red onion, diced
1 small jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
2 tablespoons lime juice (about 1 lime)
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Combine tomatoes, onion, and jalapeño in a nonreactive bowl. Add lime juice and some liquid from the tomatoes to reach desired consistency. Add half cilantro. Season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Add to a serving bowl. Garnish with remaining cilantro. Serve with tortilla chips. Yield: 4 to 6 servings.


  1. Sounds so simple... looks so tasty! I don't know why I haven't tried making my own salsa before. Thanks for the inspiration!


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