Your Nutritional Secret Weapon
This traditional Mexican relish pretty much goes with everything, hence it’s ‘secret weapon’ status. If you are looking for something quick and easy to spice up a summer barbecue or transform a boring weekday dinner, this feisty & spicy salsa is your answer! The combination of crushed tomatoes, red peppers, hot chillies, cilantro, onion, and lime juice is perfect for loading onto fajitas with sizzling chicken or grilled fish alongside some guacamole and green leaves, or simply as a healthy dip for chopped veggies.
With a little of this in the fridge, you can turn any simple salad into a satisfying, healthy lunch. It works for breakfast too – just spoon the salsa onto poached eggs with some chopped avocado or stir into scrambled eggs and serve with toast of your choice. Quite simply, you need this versatile, zingy salsa recipe in your kitchen arsenal!
A Mariachi Band of Flavors
There’s a salsa for every occasion – big chipotle flavors work well with beef, while a mild green salsa pairs perfectly with seafood; we’ve even previously featured a zesty mango variation on the Integrative Nutrition recipe blog.
But for today’s salsa, we’re keeping the flavors clean and fresh. Cilantro, chilies, and onions bring out the juicy ripeness of the tomatoes, and the addition of sweet red peppers puts a mouth-watering twist on the classic recipe. The whole thing is held together with a generous dash of lime, which not only magnifies the punchy flavors, but helps to keep the salsa good for a few extra days. Ideally the salsa should be served straight away for maximum freshness, but for busy cooks this is handy to have on standby for grab and go. Keep it in an air-tight container in the fridge and stir in an extra squeeze of lime to revive the flavors when you are ready to serve.
With this simple recipe, everything rests on the quality and freshness of the ingredients. Look for especially ripe, red tomatoes that are just about to wrinkle. In this raw version, we’ve used big, sweet, crunchy red bell peppers but for a deeper flavor, but if you have an extra twenty minutes to spare you can roast the pepper with some olive oil and garlic before throwing it in the blender. Yellow peppers also work really well in the roasted version.
You have two options for preparing the salsa depending on whether you plan to serve it as a sauce or a relish. Either throw all the ingredients into a blender and blast until it has the consistency you desire, or for a more colorful and rustic texture coarsely chop all the ingredients and combine in a bowl.
This recipe is completely plant-based so is perfect for vegan diets and those watching their sugar, fat, or carbohydrate intake. The delicious red peppers contain the carotenoid lycopene, which is thought to reduce the risk of certain kinds of cancer and improve eye health. They’re also packed full of brain-boosting vitamin B6, and the antioxidant vitamins A and C.
If you’re always on the lookout for easy ways to sneak a few extra veggies onto your plate, this salsa is not only provides a serving by itself, but it’ll tempt you to dip some chopped carrots or peppers in to get even more!
Red Pepper Salsa (makes 2 cups)
4 large ripe tomatoes
2 large red bell peppers
2 red chillies, de-seeded
1 small red onion
Juice of 1 lime
A handful of cilantro
A pinch of salt
- Roughly chop the tomatoes, bell peppers, chilies, and onions, and toss into the blender. You may prefer to add the chilies gradually and taste until it has the desired level of heat.
- Add the lime juice and cilantro and blend all the ingredients together until the salsa has the desired consistency.
- Season to taste.
- Serve in a bowl with a sprinkling of cilantro leaves on top.
- If you are going for the non-blended version, finely or coarsely chop the ingredients instead, put them all into a bowl, and mix well.
- Be sure to wash your hands carefully and thoroughly after handling chillies! Another option is to wear snug-fitting vinyl or latex gloves while chopping the chilies to protect your fingers; hot pepper oil is notoriously hard to get off of your skin, even after vigorous hand washing.
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