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Leahs Oh So Famous Sexy Homemade Salsa

March 29, 2008

I actually would like not to share this recipe of mine. Really I wouldn’t – but it is such a hit when ever I serve it up and when I bring it to parties, I finally decided I should share.

This easy to make and incredibly super-crowd pleasing Super Fresh Salsa is sure to be a huge hit. What’s greater, it lasts (if not already eaten up) up to two weeks in fridge and can be put over chicken, pasta, into chili, over as nachos. You will find this salsa recipe quite versatile.

It’s such a must for every party I have my guests would be terribly disappointed they have come to love this salsa that much!

Now, a word to the wise, the time it takes me to cut up everything can be daunting for some (it can take me an hour), but if you were to do this in a food processor, you would sadly be disappointed – the idea is for each ingredient to be finely chopped so that when you scoop it up with your chosen tortilla chip, you can see the actual ingredients, and not a mushed mess of glop!

BUT DO NOTE: I have successfully made this in a food processor, but in steps and by ALWAYS using the pulse button, otherwise you really do get mushed veggies. Start by pulsing each ingredient independently (of those needing to be chopped) and then removing those from processor bowl and place into a larger bowl when you are to add the liquids (lime juice, apple cider vinegar, diced tomatoes and tomato paste and dry ingredients) and stir accordingly.

This is a fresh bright tasting salsa, you will never want to eat it from a jar again. No offense to jar-lovers, but it is really that good!


  • 1 large can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 large can of petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 small can of tomato paste
  • 1 large onion – Spanish, though Bermuda makes it look extra pretty
  • 3 scallions
  • 2 large sweet green peppers
  • 2 large sweet red peppers
  • 1 yellow or orange sweet pepper if it can be in your budget
  • 3-6 jalapeños
  • 1/2 of one seedless cucumber
  • 5 good sized fresh garlic gloves
  • 4 tablespoons spoons freshly diced cilantro (3 tbsp if dried)
  • Zest and juice of 4 limes (the fresh zest is a secret ingredient)
  • 3/4 cup of apple cider vinegar (the other secret ingredient)
  • 1 tablespoon of freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • A couple of shots/shakes of hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of dried crushed red pepper


  1. This amazing crowd-pleasing party dish does take up a lot of time in dicing and cutting up the ingredients but it is so well worth the oohs and ahs you will receive and this salsa can be made the day before your party. I wouldn’t do it any further in advance since you want the colors to be bright as possible. Also I wouldn’t attempt to do this in a food processor, the final results will be mush, you want the dish to look pretty, and be able to notice all the different colors, not a huge pulped mess.
  2. Once completed, put in bowl or container tightly covered until ready to use. It’s great to impress if you bring it to a party, it’s a sure fire hit.
  3. All ingredients are to be fresh, rinsed and diced up small as you can muster and hopefully nothing larger than 1/2″ big. I try to get them about 1/4″ and smaller. So a sharp knife is essential. Remember – these are to be easily scooped onto crackers, pita chips, etc.
  4. Starting with sweet peppers, rinse, remove seeds and dice, place in large bowl.
  5. Remove skin of cucumber, use half if a long cucumber, and slice and dice as you did the peppers, place into bowl.
  6. Finely mince garlic, place into bowl.
  7. Add canned tomatoes to bowl.
  8. Slice and dice up Onion and scallions and add to bowl.
  9. Add hot sauce and crushed red pepper
  10. Add apple cider vinegar along with salt, pepper and sugar.
  11. Stir what you have now got in the bowl.
  12. Roll limes on the counter with the palm of your hand to loosen up their juices, then grate all zest off, add to bowl.
  13. Next cut up limes, and squeeze as much juice from limes as you can into bowl.
  14. Rinse Cilantro well, then use a good handful, try to remove as much of stems as possible, then mince up small, place it in bowl then stir. See how pretty it’s starting to look and the smell – oh my!
  15. Add one half of a small can of tomato paste stir till well incorporated into salsa.
  16. Taste – hmm getting very close.
  17. Add jalapeños, remove seeds as they add heat, slice and dice as small as possible similarly like you did the garlic. Start with two (2) jalapeño peppers to keep it on the mild side, add more as necessary to gain the heat factor that you would like.
  18. Wash and rinse hands with soap and even using the insides skins of what’s left of the limes, to help remove any oils left over from the jalapeños.
  19. Do remember that even with one hour ‘s time in the refrigerator, the flavors will have come together more, and may be hotter than you first tried it since juices of vegetables have had the chance to settle into being an amazing super salsa.
  20. If you make it too hot, you can adjust by adding more sugar, a little water, and another med. sized can of crushed tomatoes to mellow it out.

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