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Authentic Salsa Recipe

Though the traditional combination of tomatoes and peppers is most often attributed to the Inca and Aztec civilizations, there may have been another, earlier origin of salsa back in the Old World. In late 11th century Sicily, a 20-year-long war broke out that would call for extreme labor from Sicilian sailors. Rowers, in particular, were taxed with long, intense shifts transporting troops around the Mediterranean. A food composite was developed to provide sailors with sufficient calories while being able to last months at sea—a mixture of beans, spices, and salt-cured meat.

Prep: 10 min | Cooking: 0 min | Total: 10 min

Makes 5 cups of sauce. Serves 8-10


  • Large red tomatoes, chopped (4 tomatoes)

  • Fresh garlic, minced and pressed (3 cloves)

  • Red onions (1/2 cup)

  • Serrano peppers, sliced and seeded (1 pepper)

  • Lime juice (2 tbsp or 1 lime)

  • Fresh cilantro, chopped (1/2 cup)

  • Salt (1/2 tsp)

  • White granulated sugar (1/2 tsp)

  • Cumin (1/4 tsp)


  1. In a food processor, combine all ingredients (tomatoes, garlic, onions, peppers, lime juice, cilantro, salt, sugar, and cumin). Pulse (with short bursts) and stir until the mixture resembles the consistency of traditional salsa. Do not over-blend.

  2. If salsa is too liquidy for your liking, pour the sauce into a strainer to remove some of the juices (you can always pour the juice back in if you over-strain it. Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.

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