The Most Incredible Salsa

August 23, 2016
The Most Incredible Salsa - A salsa made with fresh tomatoes, onions, celery, and chopped herbs. Bet you'll never guess the secret ingredient!

When it's a beautiful summer's night; when the weary travelers have returned home from a month away

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When there are many stories to be told of keeping chickens, flowers, and a garden alive in their absence

When there are even more stories to be told of a clever and most pesky raccoon; who'd set his sights on raiding the chicken coop

When everyone is winding down from the week

When there are cold and potent martinis, made with the smoothest gin, straight from New Zealand

When there's an abundance of tomatoes, peppers, onions, and herbs fresh from the garden

It only makes sense to throw an impromptu get-together

The Most Incredible Salsa - A salsa made with fresh tomatoes, onions, celery, and chopped herbs. Bet you'll never guess the secret ingredient!

Gather produce from the back deck, countertop, and fridge; they'll go bad, and really we couldn't eat them all.  Thus, a text chain is born

No dressing up required.  Can you bring a little something sweet?  How about 7?

Because you can't wait to see them and hear all about their trip.  Because they always make you laugh.  Because there's nothing better than a quiet evening in the company of good friends, everyone says yes.

“Yes, yes, yes, we'll be there.  See you a couple of hours.”

Someone whipped up an appetizer with hot peppers and brie; another the most incredible salsa there ever was.  There are chocolaty cereal balls, wine, and really nothing about the menu made a lot of sense; except that the patio was filled with

love and community

The impromptu kind and it was perfectly imperfect

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As with anything that has the potential for heat; my husband sampled the salsa first.  “Oh my, this is good,”  Another bite. “This is really good!  It's definitely something you can eat.”

And with that, I dipped my chip; it was love at first bite.  The rest of the night, the salsa was always within reach.  I simply couldn't get enough.  On the hot end of the mild spectrum; it was colorful, fresh, chunky, with the most interesting zip

They brought a batch to last weekend's Spaghetti Saturday, and it was gone in no time.  Everyone who tried it couldn't resist lingering for just one more dip of their chip. “This is incredible; what's IN it?”

As luck would have it, that fateful evening was the first time he'd made it, and there wasn't a specific recipe that he followed.  Armed with the list of ingredients, I tried several batches on my own in an attempt to re-create.  I came close, but

something .. something was still missing

It turns out there are a couple of tricks when it comes to adding the zip

fresh ginger, peeled and minced by hand

half of a ghost pepper, seeds removed and minced as fine as you're able

The Most Incredible Salsa - A salsa made with fresh tomatoes, onions, celery, and chopped herbs. Bet you'll never guess the secret ingredient!

It's been a staple in our fridge ever since.

I've eaten it straight with tortilla chips, ladled it over my omelets, and pretty much anything that's come off of the grill.  I've also made it into a meal by adding to it whatever protein we have in the fridge.

Play around a bit with the recipe guidelines; it's the perfect opportunity to get to know different flavors and characteristics of different chilies. For those readers who are chili geeks, it could undoubtedly be made livelier


The Most Incredible Salsa - A salsa made with fresh tomatoes, onions, celery, and chopped herbs. Bet you'll never guess the secret ingredient!


ps:  More fun recipes and stories from Spaghetti Saturdays

The Most Incredible Salsa


  • tomatoes, chopped
  • onions, chopped (Use a little less onions than tomatoes. For every cup of tomatoes, use ½ - ¾ cup onions)
  • celery, chopped (Use far less celery than tomatoes. For every cup of tomatoes, use ¼ - ⅓ cup celery)
  • ½ ghost pepper, seeded and minced very fine
  • parsley leaves, chopped fine (I used roughly 1 bunch of parsley leaves)
  • cilantro, optional (if adding cilantro in addition to the parsley, keep the total amount of herbs to roughly 1 bunch of chopped leaves)
  • 1 - 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • fine grain sea salt + freshly ground black pepper


  • In a medium-sized bowl, add all of the ingredients and combine.
  • Taste and adjust the seasonings. Let your taste buds be your guide
  • Let the salsa to rest 10-15 minutes before serving, to allow all of the flavors to combine
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  • Reply Noblandmakeup May 3, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    This is perfect! I was just talking to my husband about making homemade salsa with the bounty of veggies from the garden. I’m thinking two batches will be in order, because I love hot and he’s mild, but this recipe looks simple and delicious!

  • Reply Katie Kinsley May 3, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    I love, love, love salsa – red, green, fresh, canned, hot, medium or mild. It’s no matter. YUM! I can’t wait to try this version, too. And with jalapenos? Swoon

    I was wondering if this would freeze well? I was just lamenting yesterday that I want fresh tasting salsa in January, too (not just during the peak of summer) and this might solve my dilemma. xx

  • Reply Erin May 3, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    Wow, Ali. This looks amazing and oh so easy! I now know what I’m going to be doing with my 8 tomato plants this summer! Everything you have posted lately has been truly wonderful. x

  • Reply Ana De- Jesus May 3, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    OOh I have some Quorn chicken that is just begging to be drizzled in lots of ‘incredible salsa’. I bet it would taste so good with some nacho chips as well!

  • Reply Foteini K May 3, 2017 at 4:10 pm

    5 stars
    If you add cucumber, olives and feta cheese you create the ultimate greek salad! ♥ yum!!
    xoxo My Life as Foteini / Foteini Karagianni ♥

  • Reply Ana Ojha May 3, 2017 at 10:32 pm

    5 stars
    I didn’t know that we can add brown sugar in Salsa. Now I know the secret of a perfect salsa recipe. Can’t wait to try this weekend as I love snacking tortilla chips with salsa along with my wine!

  • Reply Melanie May 4, 2017 at 3:53 am

    That sure does sound like an interesting salsa. I do love making and eating salsa but haven’t made one with all those ingredients before so must give it a go, yum!

  • Reply Elena May 4, 2017 at 6:22 am

    5 stars
    Awesome post. I just got back from a trip and with all the photos to sort and stories to tell I think that I don`t have the time to think what to prepare for eating or snacking :). Thanks for making it easier.

  • Reply Shadia Harper May 4, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    This looks so freaking good! We are huge chips and salsa fans in my house. I’ll definitely have to surprise my husband with this one!

  • Reply Ritu Sharma May 4, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    Yummy, After reading this recipe I tryed it today, I just love the taste and my family also like it.. thanks for sharing salsa recipe with us.

  • Reply David Elliott May 4, 2017 at 11:09 pm

    I’m not sure whether to admire you or to be scared of this salsa. I mean, I love heat. And I love fresh salsas. And there are so many salsas that either aren’t fresh or just don’t work for me. But this one with ghost pepper. I am intrigued.

  • Reply Anele May 5, 2017 at 7:31 am

    4 stars
    Wow! First, I love your writing, makes me want to go out and try this immediately. This salsa looks great and I’m sure it tastes amazing. Thank you for sharing this recipe. Looking forward to more!

  • Reply Lindsey May 5, 2017 at 7:59 am

    A perfect dish for a perfect warm night here that we are having in London. The colours and photgraphy, as always is magnificent.

  • Reply Sari May 6, 2017 at 7:50 am

    Will be trying this one out. But might had to experiment a bit by adding diced mangoes and apple. But at the end nothing goes wrong with Salsa in a dish.

  • Reply Candy May 6, 2017 at 8:08 am

    I am getting ready to plant all of our tomatoes and different peppers. The onions are planted. I must make salsa at least 2 or 3 times each week during the summer fresh. Plus we can enough to get us through the winter. Always on the look out for a great salsa.

  • Reply Jacqui S May 6, 2017 at 8:50 am

    5 stars
    It’s funny. I truly dislike tomatoes. I will always cook without them. But, I love them in salsa. That is the only thing you’ll see me eat them in. Although, I do love my tomato soup (no chunks) and spaghetti sauce lol.

  • Reply HeidiDee May 6, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    So simple, and so delicious! Sometimes recipes with the simplest ingredients are the most delicious 🙂

  • Reply Stephanie Jeannot May 7, 2017 at 9:24 am

    Yummy. That reminds me of pico de gallo. It sounds so yummy. I love any recipe with a tomato in it. Sounds great!

  • Reply Janice May 7, 2017 at 11:40 am

    5 stars
    I’ve discovered that the world’s best salsa requires only these 6 ingredients: tomatoes, onion, garlic, jalapeno, lime, cilantro. But the real secret to flavor? Salt. There’s truly a magic amount that will make your salsa pop. When people would rather drink it instead of dip? You’re there. ps: Have you ever tried roasting your tomatoes?

  • Reply Connor Barrett May 7, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    5 stars
    Sitting here on a beautiful day, this recipe sounds divine. Summer on a plate!

  • Reply Ave May 7, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    5 stars
    Your salsa sounds mouthwatering! Have to give it a try asap! I’m sure it would be a big hit on our weekend barbecues!

  • Reply nirra May 7, 2017 at 8:28 pm

    That salsa looks delish! Salsa is one of those things I can just sit down with, along with a bag of chips, and just eat and eat. Omgosh I love salsa! So happy summer is coming so I can eat some 🙂

  • Reply Lisa Heath May 7, 2017 at 11:38 pm

    My favorite salsa ingredient? Charred summer sweet corn (and leftover black beans). Absolutely divine! xx

  • Reply Rika May 8, 2017 at 1:10 am

    I love Salsa! I always make Salsa at home, try different ingredients. Cant wait to try this.

  • Reply Angelic Sinova May 8, 2017 at 2:31 am

    Yum, that salsa sure does look delicious. I love making impromptu meals like this and chips and salsa is one of my favorite meals! I can’t wait to try this recipe out.

  • Reply Robin May 8, 2017 at 4:39 am

    Salsa is a favorite with my husband and I. We eat it all the time while we are having movie nights. Yours sounds awesome.

  • Reply Alli Smith May 8, 2017 at 5:08 am

    I’ve never used a ghost pepper in my homemade salsa. Wowzers! I love heat so I’ll have to try the ghost pepper instead of jalapenos.

  • Reply Amber Myers May 8, 2017 at 7:20 am

    5 stars
    This does look delicious. I love salsa. I’m all about spice, so I’d love that ghost pepper being included. I usually am boring and buy the jarred salsa, but I need to try this one.

  • Reply Rebecca Swenor May 8, 2017 at 7:38 am

    5 stars
    This salsa sounds like something my family would love to try. I don’t like vinegar but I make the foods for my family. This would be great for our next family cookout. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  • Reply Jeanine May 8, 2017 at 10:49 am

    Yum this looks and sounds just amazing. My family LOVES salsa but I don’t make it often enough, I will have to try this!

  • Reply lisa May 8, 2017 at 11:53 am

    I love freshly made salsa. There is just something about using fresh ingredients and making it yourself that makes the salsa taste better!

  • Reply LaShawn May 8, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    I’m cook, as well as a gardener (don’t ask me to decide which I love more), and my most love crop is the heirloom tomatoes. In fact, they’re at their peak right now. I’m sure they’ll be juicier (and sweeter), but that’s just fine by me! ps: Message me, because I’d love to send you my favorite Black Krim variety! Love your site, Ali

  • Reply Ladonna May 8, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    This right here sounds AMAZING! I’ve seen many salsa recipes, but none have called for celery and/or brown sugar! I’m going to have to try this!

  • Reply Tami May 8, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    Hubby has always wanted me to make homemade salsa. I never thought I could master the perfect taste. I think I will give it a try and just see. Maybe I will surprise him with a new salsa “brand “… mine!

  • Reply Eileen May 8, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    5 stars
    Gosh this looks like a great salsa! It looks so refreshing and tasty! I’ll have to try this receipt out

  • Reply Annemarie LeBlanc May 8, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    5 stars
    Thank you for the recipe. I tried making my own salsa too, but it seems there was always something missing. Now I know what I left out – brown sugar. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Reply Jaime Nicole May 8, 2017 at 6:42 pm

    This looks like an absolutely incredible salsa! I love this time of year because there are so many great fresh ingredients available!

  • Reply Paula Bendfeldt May 8, 2017 at 8:07 pm

    Thank you! I am a salsa addict but have never really loved other recipes I’ve tried. Off to the gardens to get the simple ingredients 🙂

  • Reply Censie Sawyer May 8, 2017 at 9:43 pm

    Well this salsa recipe does look incredible! I need to try this recipe. WE love making salsa from our garden and I cannot wait to try this recipe when we finally have some fresh veggies from our garden! Soon!!

  • Reply Jules May 9, 2017 at 12:02 am

    5 stars
    Since I got here in US to be with my hubby, I’ve been loving salsa in all types. He’s even making me salsa for my chips and tacos, coz he found this recipe for his meal preps for his camp transformation. And this recipe that you got looks incredibly delicious. Fresh ingredients are always perfect.

  • Reply Val May 9, 2017 at 5:59 am

    I love the flavor of fresh salsa. I don’t do ghost pepper but I bet my oldest son would love to give it a go as he loves things with lots of heat.

  • Reply Jamie May 9, 2017 at 6:10 am

    5 stars
    I love your salsa recipe. This would go great with taco or tortilla chips! Now I am craving to have some right now. Thank you for sharing, I’m going to make this tomorrow and I will make sure I have my tortilla chips!

  • Reply Chasity L Boatman May 9, 2017 at 6:30 am

    I’m from Texas, so there’s nothing that I love like a good salsa recipe! This looks so fresh and delicious! I like that your’s has it’s own spin on a traditional recipe with the ginger.

  • Reply Chrishelle Ebner May 9, 2017 at 7:02 am

    5 stars
    I love to make my own homemade salsa. Like you I like it with chips or over a ton of different foods. I need to check out yours I would have never thought to add ginger, sounds yummy!!

  • Reply Melissa Dixon May 9, 2017 at 8:27 am

    This looks really good. I will have to try to make this one for my husband, he loves ghost peppers. He will probably keep the seeds in because he loves the heat even though I can not really handle it. It is quite crazy.

  • Reply Kita Bryant May 9, 2017 at 1:07 pm

    What a perfect base. Adding some grilled corn and avocado will make a great topper. Love your pictures!

  • Reply Jenn May 9, 2017 at 3:11 pm

    I love a great salsa- I like to put it on bread, chips, fish, chicken, fish…anything really! This recipe sounds so delicious and it’s so easy too!

  • Reply Amanda Love May 9, 2017 at 9:11 pm

    This truly sounds amazing and it would be nice to give this a try! We’re all huge fans of chips and salsa especially when there’s a movie involved. I’m keeping this recipe.

  • Reply Bridget May 10, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    This looks so light and refreshing! I actually thought there were mangoes in there…I might try this and add some for fun!

  • Reply Meeta May 11, 2017 at 10:21 am

    I love the heat in this one. The colors and the flavours are just magnificent. Finally it has begun to feel a lot like Spring and I look forward to making this for our next bbq

  • Reply Echo May 12, 2017 at 11:59 am

    5 stars
    This sounds absolutely amazing! I love all of the colors. I may have to add this to my menu plain for this weekend and enjoy some chips and salsa with my husband!

  • Reply Sonali Jain May 22, 2017 at 2:15 am

    We’re huge salsa fanatics at our house. Red, green, the hotter the better. Give me some tortilla chips (eggs or tacos are great too) and I’m the happiest camper, ever. My go-to salsa recipe has been Aida Mollenkamp’s. She chars a pepper, garlic, and red onion in a cast iron skillet, then tosses them in a blender, along with a can of fire roasted tomatoes and a pinch or two of salt. Cilantro is great too, if that’s your thing. Yum! And because it’s made with canned tomatoes, you can make it all year long.

  • Reply Joy May 31, 2017 at 10:09 pm

    I’m cooking dinner now wishing I had some chips and salsa instead lmao! Omg that looks so freaking delicious. I’m definitely going to try it on my next day off.

  • Reply Cassidy May 31, 2017 at 11:13 pm

    5 stars
    I’ve been eating so much chips and salsa lately! I am definitely making these ASAP. Oh and have you ever had carrots in replacement for chips? I love it!! Boyfriend does not. The debate continues…

  • Reply Komal April 1, 2018 at 4:54 pm

    Chips and salsa is one of my favorite snacks + anything with any type of hot pepper HAS me. The spicier the better!

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