Photo by Sonia Mendez Garcia

Salsa de Mesa (Table Salsa)

Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 7-8 minutes
Servings: 2 cups
This simple, six-ingredient salsa recipe was a must-have at my family's table practically every day.

Salsa de Mesa, or Table Salsa, is a basic tomato salsa I learned to make early on. It’s simply tomatoes, chile serrano or jalapeño, onion, garlic and salt. Well, in our house, Mom would not add the garlic, but I do add it now. I also love a little fresh lime juice and a hint of crushed Mexican oregano. Traditional Mexican cooks, like my Mom and tías (aunts) always had a version of this salsa on the table whether they were serving, breakfast, lunch or dinner. This is why it is referred to as table salsa or Salsa de Mesa.

While I was visiting with my family in Mexico, my tía Minerva would prepare a small, fresh bowl of this salsa at least every other day. She would add all of the ingredients in a glass bowl and cook it quickly in the microwave! I will never forget my reaction when I saw her do this the first time! I instantly thought of my Mom and how she would have loved that quick method instead of boiling everything on the stove top.


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  1. Combine the tomatoes, onion and chile peppers in a microwave-safe dish. Cover with a paper towel and cook in the microwave for 7 to 8 minutes. You could most certainly cook it on the stovetop as well by covering the tomato, onion and peppers with water and simmering for 20 minutes. Drain all the water before blending.
  2. Remove from microwave and let cool slightly. Transfer to a blender and add the lime juice, garlic, oregano, cilantro (if using), and salt to taste. Start by pulsing, then quickly blend for a few seconds. Taste for salt. Serve warm or at room temperature. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

Chef Notes

Add a nice, smoky flavor by adding chipotles in adobo instead of jalapeños. You can also add caramelized onions to the blender for even more flavor.

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