A1A Salsa

A1A Salsa

Last week I made burritos. I don’t know about you—but I can’t have Mexican food without guacamole and salsa. I trekked to the store to get my ingredients and as I was looking through my options for salsa—Newman’s Own, Tostitos, Chi-Chis—all I kept thinking was “bleh.” None of the famed jars of pureed preservatives looked appealing. I immediately had a flashback to when I lived in Florida and first discovered A1A salsa. A1A is the major highway in Florida that runs along the east coast from the Florida Keys all the way up to Georgia. And A1A salsa is the best damn salsa you’ll find along that path.

The company got started by this lone guy who was making salsa in his own kitchen for some friends who suggested he start selling the stuff. So he did. He went around to different grocery stores setting up sample tables until the business took off, all the while whipping it up in his own kitchen. (Is this a man after my own heart or what?!)

The thing I loved about it was that it was so fresh and natural! There was nothing in it but fresh vegetables and herbs. I read once that the guy always made it the day before it went to market (no wonder it was so delicious!).

As a woman nudged me to the side impatiently grabbing a preservative full jar of Pace salsa, I was ripped back into reality.

How long had I been standing there thinking about fresh ingredients?!

I walked out of the salsa aisle (aisle—ha! The market I go to on Broadway is so small, the “salsa aisle” is literally a nook that consists of one shelf sitting atop some pasta) and into the produce section of the store. Inspired by my A1A man, I was going to make my own salsa with fresh ingredients. One that didn’t include “natural flavoring” in the ingredient list.

Yields: 3 ½ cups

Prep Time: 10 min | Fridge Time: 30 min | Total Time: 40 min


3 cloves garlic, minced

4 roma tomatoes

1 yellow onion, diced

½ green pepper, diced

2 tbsp lime juice

2 tbsp cilantro, chopped

¼ tsp salt

1.     Bring a pot of water to a boil.

2.     Meanwhile, wrap garlic in aluminum foil and bake at 400 X ~5 minutes.

3.     Make a small “x” in the bottom of the tomatoes and remove the core.

4.     Once the water comes to a boil, add tomatoes. Right when you start to see cracks in the skins, remove the tomatoes. (This should only take a minute or two.)

5.     Place tomatoes in a bowl filled with ice water to stop them from cooking.

6.     Once cool enough to handle, remove skins with a knife.

7.     Cut tomatoes in half and remove the seeds with your finger. Chop tomatoes.

8.     Add tomatoes to remaining ingredients and mix in a bowl. Place in fridge to meld the flavors for ~30 minutes.

The Cook’s 2 Cents:

·      I tried both raw and cooked garlic. I like the flavor of the cooked garlic better but this step isn’t actually necessary. If you keep the garlic raw it will just give the salsa a little extra kick.

·      You don’t have to remove all of the tomato seeds, but the more you remove the less mushy the salsa will be.

·      Refrigeration is key. The longer you let it sit, the more the flavors will meld together.

·      You can use pretty much any type of onion—but I would stay away from Vidalia onions. They tend to lose their crispness when they sit for a while.

Nutrition Facts:

Serving Size: ½ cup

Servings per Recipe: 7

Calories: 24     Fat: <1g           Sodium: 85mg            Carbs: 3g         Fiber: <1g        Sugars: 2g       Protein: 1g