It might seem strange to put salsa on my list of "simple things" that make my life easier or happier. But it's just...so... GOOD! It is cheap, it is easy to make, it is tasty and in our family, it is required party food. And it is a party starter, or at least it seems that way. My whole family loves it, we make it a lot and a lot of it.
There are many different "versions" of salsa that seem to fall under 1 of 3 categories: pico de gallo, hot sauce, roasted (or cooked) salsa. I love and make all 3 but the one I make the most is a fresh salsa or pico de gallo style. The ingredients can always be found at the grocery store but are equally easy to grow in the backyard during the hot summer months. It can be eaten with chips or on tacos, burritos, etc. You can top a cooked chicken breast with it for spicy flavor or make foil packets with fish and salsa for quick, healthy meal. It does keep well in the fridge for a day or two, although I don't care for the way the tomatoes break down. For me, it's freshly made or nothing.
Tomato, cilantro, onion, chile, salt & pepper. That's all it takes to make a yummy salsa. You can add other things such as lime, spices, I've even seen people add cucumber which I think is weird but to each his own. My take on it is not so much of a recipe but a list of ingredients that you can add or subtract to your liking but one thing I will not stand for is using a food processor. For my salsa, it must be chopped very finely by hand. So sharpen your knives and make some salsa!
Carey's Salsa Fresca- makes one big party size bowl
15-20 roma tomatoes (regular hot house tomatoes will do in a pinch but they have a spongier texture and more liquid than romas)
2 bunches of cilantro
1 large white onion
3-4 serrano chiles (jalepenos are fine, too)
salt (approximately 1 tablespoon)
black pepper (approximately 1/2 teaspoon)
cumin (approximately 1 teaspoon)
chile powder (approximately 1/2 teaspoon)
Chop all ingredients very finely and scoop into a large serving bowl, add the spices to taste and mix well. If you have time, allow the salsa to sit in the fridge for 30-45 minutes so the flavor combine and test again for salt just before serving.