Late August and early September is usually my favorite time of year. The kids go back to school, but even better: the tomatoes are ready to be picked.

I love my tomatoes.

I obsess about my tomatoes.

At this time of year, we have tomatoes with almost every meal, cherry tomatoes get put in lunch boxes, and Caprese salad is a weekly treat. But, my very favorite use of all the tomatoes I get from the garden is salsa. We go through so much fresh salsa at this time of year, I think my family alone probably supports the tortilla chip industry. The family likes it so much that there are times when it is half eaten before I manage to get it out of the food processor and into a jar. The other day, John was saying to me, “I can’t stop eating it! Why can’t I stop eating it?” I told him it was probably from all the Crack I put in it.

So, in celebration of tomato season, here is my favorite fresh medium salsa recipe:


2/3 c. chopped green bell pepper

1 c. diced onion (I think red is best)

1/4 c. minced fresh cilantro (If you are a cilantro-hater, you can leave this out or adjust to your tastes)

2 T fresh lime or lemon juice

3 medium sized fresh jalapenos, chopped with seeds

1/2 t. each: cumin, salt, ground black pepper

3 c. chopped fresh tomatoes

Put all the ingredients, except the tomatoes, into a food processor and pulse to desired chunkiness. Add the tomatoes and pulse a few more times until the tomatoes are the size you want. Or, alternately, you can just do it all by hand and skip the food processor if you want a really chunky salsa.

This amount of jalapenos makes what I feel is a medium salsa. Some people may find it mild and others hot. But, adjust the number of jalapenos up or down depending on your tastes.

Sometimes I have other peppers on hand and I’ll put in some roasted hatch peppers, or roasted red bell peppers.

This is a good recipe for hiding other vegetables in. This summer I’ve chopped up a patty pan squash along with the rest of the ingredients before adding the tomatoes in each batch of salsa and my squash-hating children have never known. Or you can add a handful of raw spinach or kale, just make sure it is well chopped.

Fresh salsa is one of the great seasonal treats in life. So, make your day a little (a lot) better and whip up a batch. Even better: share it with someone and be a force for beneficence to those around you.

(Feel free to share your favorite fresh salsa recipes in the comments below or on our Facebook page.)