Growing up outside of Texas, I never really paid much attention to salsa. When my mom would make Mexican food at home, we typically bought a jar of salsa and were done with it. It was never homemade. And then I moved to Texas. Houston, to be exact. My sister and I spent many evenings at a restaurant called Marcos–a chain restaurant that had several locations throughout the city. As soon as we sat down, a waiter brought out a basket of chips and two different types of salsa to accompany it. Before our entrees arrived, the basket of chips and bowls of salsa were either empty or close to it. My love of a good, homemade salsa had begun.
Moving to Austin after I graduated from high school, I searched and searched for a new “Marcos”. I’ve made it my mission to sample salsas whenever I can, and I’ve tried making many different kinds: ones using fresh tomatoes, canned tomatoes, cooked salsa and green salsas. My favorite is the traditional salsa using fresh tomatoes that is loaded with purple onions and cilantro.
I admit to buying jarred salsa for those times when I don’t feel like making homemade, which is typically reserved for special occasions when I have extra time to prepare it. But a jar of salsa, no matter the brand or the ingredients, never cuts it for me, especially when I make breakfast tacos. In my many years of being a Texan, I’ve come to realize that the salsa is what makes the breakfast taco. Without the right one, the whole taco is thrown off and tastes funky. Trying out a new restaurant’s breakfast tacos is always scary since you never know what kind of salsa they will bring out. I realized when whipping up a batch earlier that it’s not at all time-consuming if you use a food processor. And with tomatoes, onions, jalapeños and cilantro being as cheap as they are right now, it makes sense to go the fresh route rather than the easy way.
This week, Roma tomatoes are on sales at Sprouts for .39 cents a pound! I stocked up and thought that the best way to use those tomatoes would be in a fresh salsa. Can you guess what’s for dinner tonight? Breakfast tacos!
2 pounds tomatoes (I typically buy Roma since they are generally less expensive.)
1 medium purple onion, cut into small chunks
2 cloves garlic
1 jalapeño (seeded, depending on your preference for spiciness)
Handful of cilantro
First step is to thoroughly wash the tomatoes and jalapeño. Cut tomatoes in quarters and place in food processor. Add onion, garlic, jalapeño and cilantro. Pulse until desired consistency. I prefer for it to be in tiny, discernible bits. Be careful to not let it pulse for too long as it can turn into a liquid mush. Squeeze in the juice of lime and add salt to taste. Enjoy!
Written by: Catherine Prystup