There are plenty of reasons to try your hand at making salsa. Before you even consider flavor, salsa nutritional facts are encouraging; you can have a few tablespoons and still only be downing between 10 and 20 calories. That makes it a dieter’s dream, both for snacking and for use in recipes.
Whether you want to know how to make authentic Mexican salsa or you’re looking for an American-style classic mild salsa dip, the quality of salsa is not just in the combination of flavors used, but also the biggest ingredient: the tomatoes. So what are the best tomatoes for salsa? Here’s a rundown on some of your options.
- Plum Tomatoes
If you want to stick to the standard, plum tomatoes are often used in salsa because they have a higher proportion of flesh to seeds. They’re also easy to dice and de-seed. Some people find that plum tomatoes aren’t flavorful enough for raw salsas (such as pico de gallo salsa dips), but this is often a matter of quality, rather than variety. If you have a choice between a garden-fresh tomato of another variety and a plum tomato in the grocery store that’s been shipped half across the world, then it might be time to buck tradition and use the fresher tomato.
- Cherry Tomatoes
Cherry tomatoes aren’t traditionally used for salsa, but they are perfect for a fresh, chunky type of salsa that almost borders on being a tomato salad. Their crispness and intense flavor taste great paired with onions, peppers and cilantro. Many cherry and grape tomatoes are quite sweet, so you’ll want to balance that with plenty of citrus and fresh herbs.
- Green Tomatoes
If you want a salsa with a little more bite, green tomatoes can be a great choice, either for a straight salsa verde or a mixed salsa (using both red and green tomatoes). Some green tomatoes haven’t fully ripened, but there are also some varieties that are green even when fully developed — the latter will generally be sweeter. Additionally, don’t confuse these green tomatoes with tomatillos, which are often called “husk tomatoes.” These green fruits are also used in salsa verde, but they have a stronger tart flavor.
What do you think are the best tomatoes for salsa?