Garden Salsa Fresca (Naturally SOS Free)
The first time I had salsa fresca was in a small town in Jalisco, Mexico and I thought it was the best thing ever. It 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.
Traditional salsa fresca 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, salt, oil or sugar.
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 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.