Salsa cruda

I've made this fresh salsa innumerable times. Friends ask me for this recipe more than any other, even though it seems totally obvious to me. It requires a fair amount of chopping, but that's all there is to it: what could be simpler? With chips, it makes a simple and zesty appetizer, and it's also fabulous on top of a tortilla with rice and beans. It goes really well with a cold Mexican beer (dos cervezas, por favor!), or with a freshly made margarita, or with a couple shots of mezcal...






Ingredient amounts above are quite approximate; vary as you will, then taste to be sure you're happy with the result. In particular, adjust the amount of cilantro and the variety and amount of hot pepper to taste. I like it quite hot but not blazingly hot (no habaneros for me, thanks!).

Some people use tomato, I much prefer tomatillo instead. The mango is optional, but I love its sweetness against the acid bite of the salsa; papaya works very nicely too. In summer, if I find an ear of leftover BBQed corn in the fridge, I'll add the corn kernels.

I chop by hand with a cleaver on my venerable wood chopping block, but a food processor works just as well if you're careful. Mince the garlic and hot pepper very fine, but do not overdo the mincing of the remaining ingredients.

Q. Why avacados in the ingredients picture?
A. Because I made salsa and guacamole simultaneously. (I haven't bothered to write a guacamole recipe page.)
Q. Why cottage cheese in the ingredients picture?
A. I use a little sour cream in my guacamole, and I pulled out the wrong container.