"This bright fresh green tomato salsa is perfect served with chips, on tacos, tostadas, grilled fish, chicken, shrimp…well, you name it, this salsa is a great enhancement. You need to use un-ripe green tomatoes in this salsa. If you can't find un-ripe tomatoes, use tomatillos in their place"
How to Make Garden Fresh Green Tomato Salsa
I know, I know.
Don't write me about it.
Write me, but just not about that.
I know tomatillos are NOT the same as a unripe tomato. While both come from the nightshade family, they come from completely different plants. But when making this salsa, if you can't find an unripe tomato, then the tomatillo is your next best choice as both are slightly acidic when eaten and both will make a nice salsa.
The wrong choice?
A ripe green tomato that is supposed to be green in color.
Do not be confused.
Salsa vs sauce.
We are making salsa.
Salsa is a sauce or condiment used in many cuisines, but we are most familiar with it when used in Mexican cuisine as a dip for chips. While my recipe for Fresh Green Tomato Salsa is great with chips, it is also great for tacos, tostadas, grilled fish, shrimp, well, it was delish on everything we tried it on. And we ate it on everything for four days...trying it here and there. After four days it was all gone, or we might have continued onto the meat part of the program.
Use Green Unripe Tomatoes
I generally have most of my green tomatoes at the end of the season, October, when my plants still have fruit on the vines, but it's too cold both day and night for them to fully mature. And while I love a good fried green tomato, especially my Double Dipped Fried Green Tomatoes, you can only eat so many of them.
This year I learned from my peach tree a lesson that, when the fruit is too close together, not only does it stop the other fruit from getting larger, it also inhibits its ripening. So this year I thinned my peaches to one fruit every 6 inches, per branch. And I got bunches of beautiful ripe large sweet peaches. Taking that same principle to my tomato plants, I noticed that many of the tomatoes were bunched tightly together inside the bottom stalks, so I thought I would just "thin them out" a bit. This left me with some beautiful green tomatoes, that, while I fried some (who wouldn't?) I decided I needed to do something else as well. So I came up with this lower in fat and calories preparation of green tomato - Salsa.
How do you like your salsa?
I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted in my salsa, keeping with my Mexican salsa taste buds, green tomato, jalapeno, onion, garlic, cilantro - I just wasn't really sure how I wanted to present my salsa. Chunky? Smooth? Coarse?
As always research - well, it's always interesting to me to do research on a dish.
Damn, there are a lot of ways to screw up good food...
- First of all, why cook the tomato? Many of the recipes for green tomato salsa cooked the tomato and onion - that would dull the acidity for sure, but I wanted to taste the freshness of the salsa, not muted flavor. So I didn't cook it. It's all raw.
- Second, many said to use "lime juice" or "red wine vinegar". These are hardly interchangeable. Lime juice tastes fresh, of lime juice. Red wine vinegar, while acidic is a completely different flavor. BUT if you can't for some reason get lime juice I would recommend either rice wine vinegar, white balsamic or plain old distilled white vinegar. (While I'm not a big fan, I might even recommend bottled lime juice as opposed to red wine vinegar or any other vinegar substitute.)
Chunky, smooth or coarse? That is the question.
In the end, I didn't like the way this fresh green tomato salsa presented as a chunky sauce. I knew I could go on to make it a smooth sauce, so I decided to put my chunky sauce into the food processor and used on/off pulses to chop it into a semi-chunky semi-smooth, perfect salsa - for everything.
Really. The perfect texture to dip it, spoon it, spread it.
Fresh Green Tomato Salsa
- 1 pound firm un-ripe green tomatoes - make sure they are un-ripe and not a ripe green colored tomato
- 2 Serrano peppers seeded and coarsely chopped (about 5g)
- ½ cup 4-ounces white onion, coarsely chopped
- 3 tablespoons about fresh lime juice
- 2 cloves garlic chopped (about 1 teaspoon)
- ½ cup 5g loosely packed cilantro leaves
- Salt to taste
- Place all the ingredients (in the order given) into the work bowl of a food processor and process, using on/off pulses, until chopped to your desired consistency...from chunkier to smoother. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper.