Garden Salsa Fresca (Naturally SOS Free)
Garden Salsa Fresca is a refreshing and naturally sos free salsa fresca (salt free, oil free, sugar free) bursting with lively flavors.
The first time I had the infamous salsa fresca was in a small town in Jalisco, Mexico and I thought it was the best thing ever. The salsa fresca (Salsa Mexicana) was brought to tables along with tortilla chips in every restaurant without even asking for it. While in Mexico, I started making it at home almost on a daily basis to eat with the fresh avocados and tortillas from the tortilleria across the street. It’s been a household staple ever since. Salsa Fresca is also known as Salsa Mexicana and Pico de Gallo.
Traditional salsa fresca, which is also called Salsa Mexicana and Pico de Gallo, is naturally oil-free and this garden version with the burst of lime and fresh garden ingredients, is a naturally SOS free salsa fresca. SOS free is a dietary term (salt-free, oil-free and sugar-free) meaning there is no added salt, sugar or oil. I have always made salsa fresca without salt, oil or sugar even before we transitioned to a whole food, plant-based diet. I find with the seasonal ingredients packed full of their own natural flavors, salsa fresca is better without.
Summer Fresh Ingredients in Garden Salsa Fresca (SOS free Salsa Fresca)
I call this one “Garden” Salsa Fresca, because the first time I used cucumber in a salsa fresca was when I had all the main ingredients out in the garden, tomatoes, jalapeños, cilantro. Well all but the onion. And oddly I didn’t have an onion in the kitchen either (how did that happen?). But, there in the garden were also fully ripened cucumbers and somehow cucumber seemed perfect. Cucumbers have a crunch similar to white onions and add a coolness to balance the piquant form the jalapeno pepper. Cucumbers have a lots of flavor, but are mostly water. Removing the core with the seeds will make the salsa less watery. Ripe, but firm tomatoes work best for this salsa fresca. Roma tomatoes or any kind of plum tomatoes are a nice choice because they dice well, are less juicy and won’t fall apart as easily.
The salsa with cucumber tasted so good that I now include cucumber more often than not—but in addition to the onion, not to replace the white onion. Its a go-to salsa fresca for tacos, and is also really refreshing on Chili and soups. It makes a refreshing topping on the Chile Bean Chili and the Red Pepper, Chickpea & Corn Soup.
Tools Used in this Recipe
- Chef Knife
- Cutting Board
- vegetable peeler
- Prep Bowl
- Mason Jar
- 3/4 lb tomatoes fully ripe but still firm, about 6 small–medium sized tomatoes
- 1 cucumber cored to remove seeds
- 1 small white onion
- 2 jalapenos or 1 serrano seeds and ribs removed
- 1/2 cup cilantro chopped
- 2 tbls lime juice
- Dice the tomatoes, cucumber, and onion all the same size. Small dice is good for salsa (1/4in pieces). To remove the sulphuric taste and smell of raw onions, rinse in cold water after dicing. If really strong, soak the diced onion in cold water, then drain before adding to the jar. Dice the jalapenos or serrano into 1/8in pieces.
- Place the chopped ingredients in a mixing bowl, add the chopped cilantro and lime juice and stir all the ingredients together. Or, for one less bowl, place all the ingredients in a mason jar, put the lid on and roll the jar until all the ingredients are combined.
- Store in the refrigerator until ready to use. It will keep for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.