A plate of chips and salsa.

Salsa Fresca — Moosewood Tomato Salsa


Adapted from The New Moosewood Cookbook, such a gem

Note: The original recipe calls for dropping the tomatoes into a potful of simmering water for 10 seconds and then peeling them. I don’t think that is necessary. I added an onion because I can’t imagine making salsa without one, but if you don’t have one, omit it.

If you don’t like cilantro, use parsley or basil. With cilantro, there is no need to pull leaves from stems — just chop it all up, stems and all.

Use this recipe as a guide — you can’t go wrong if you stick to it even roughly.

I love this with chips, of course, but it is extra special over breakfast tacos.


  • 3 to 6 medium-sized ripe tomatoes, diced to yield about 4 cups
  • 1 onion, red or white, diced to yield about a cup or two, doesn’t matter
  • 2 to 4 scallions, minced to yield about 1/2 cup
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • a handful of cilantro or parsley or both, minced
  • 1 teaspoon lightly toasted cumin seeds*
  • 3/4 to 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar (or other)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (from about 1/2 a lime)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • crushed red pepper flakes to tasst (optional if using jalapeño)
  • chips for serving

*Note: To toast the cumin seeds, use a small skillet over a low flame. Watch carefully to prevent scorching.


  1. Combine everything in a large bowl. Taste. Adjust seasoning as necessary — more salt, more lime, etc. Chill until ready to serve.

  • Category: Condiment
  • Method: Toss
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Keywords: Salsa, pico de gallo, salsa fresca, tomato, cumin, lime, cilantro, onion