I enjoy fresh (uncooked) salsa, though sometimes it can be a bit watery. There are various tricks to make it less watery, which mainly consist of using less-watery tomato varieties and/or straining out some of the liquid. I had an idea to thicken the salsa with chia seeds, and I’m happy with the result. There is still some liquid that separates out, but the bulk of the salsa is satisfyingly thick.
Similar to pesto, most of the time you don’t want to fully purée salsa. To retain some texture you blend it for not too long and at a low speed. In this case I also reserve half of the tomatoes to add at the end. This leaves some bigger tomato chunks, while the other ingredients get blended more finely.
2 Tbsp chia seeds
2 Tbsp lime juice
1 lb tomatoes (divided in 2 parts; if large, cut into ~2” pieces)
1 clove garlic (peeled; 5 g)
1 small onion (halved and peeled; 65 g)
2 tsp chili powder
2 serrano peppers (ribs and seeds removed; 10 g)
1/2 cup destemmed cilantro (20 g)
salt and pepper to taste
Add all ingredients to blender, except for half of tomatoes. Blend on speed 1–2 until mixture starts circulating, and then continue for a few more seconds. Add the rest of the tomatoes and pulse on low speed until they are incorporated.
If you want to make the chia seeds more inconspicuous, you can grind them at high speed before adding the other ingredients. (The low speeds used to retain texture in the salsa aren’t enough to pulverize chia seeds.)
If you want it spicier, you can leave in some of the pepper ribs and seeds.
Getting good tomatoes is essential for making a tasty salsa. Right now, we are enjoying dry-farmed Early Girls and they work great for salsa. If you’re trying to make salsa outside of tomato season, cherry tomatoes are usually the best bet for still having decent flavor. You can also use canned tomatoes, which are usually better than most out-of-season tomatoes.