Italian salsa is a great, AND EASY, recipe which combines juicy tomatoes, salty capers, black olives, and fresh basil into the Italian style version of salsa fresca! I love it as a condiment for grilled meats, a topping for bruschetta, or as a dip for pita chips.
I dearly love Mexican salsa fresca and put it on the table frequently, especially as the weather warms up and local tomatoes are available. Whenever I have fresh tomatoes and some Mexican or Tex-Mex on the menu, I’m slicing up tomatoes and squeezing limes.
But why should Mexican cuisine get all the fun?
Salsa fresca is adaptable to all sorts of flavors and is such a healthy way to add flavor to dinner.
Case in point – this Italian salsa! I’ve been making this recipe for many years and we all love it here, so I know I’ll be making it for many more. In fact it’s such a favorite here that I’m surprised I didn’t share it already. But I guess it’s easy not to notice the daily workhorse recipes or think, well that’s too simple. 🙂 However, I have a recipe for grilled Tuscan steak coming up and this is the perfect condiment for it, so this was the time for my Italian salsa to get its closeup.
When you look at the ingredients and how I make it, you’ll see connections to my Pasta with Raw Tomato Sauce and the sauce I serve with my Grilled Breaded Chicken Breast. I mean obviously they are all uncooked tomato sauces, so they would be connected, but they are also all in the Italian/Italian-American tradition, so olives, capers, olive oil, basil, garlic are going to feature in different ways.
I suppose that’s why making this salsa is so natural for me! These are all flavors and all ingredients I have in my house on a daily basis. Only the tomatoes are something I’d maybe have to specifically put on my grocery list.
And these days I usually have tomatoes in the house even in the winter, if only so that I have some vegetable in hand which my daughter will eat. Don’t think that being able to cook means my 12-year-old appreciates most of my cooking! Someday I’m sure she will, but recently she has been enjoying the independence which comes with being able to make herself a few simple dishes, and tomatoes are always on the menu for her.
The salsa itself is quite simple.
- Fresh tomatoes seeded and finely chopped.
- Fresh basil, thinly cut.
- Kalamata olives, roughly chopped.
- A spoonful or two of capers.
- Some red onion, finely chopped.
- Olive oil, lemon juice, a healthy sprinkle of kosher salt, and a grind of pepper.
That’s it! Supermarket tomatoes will do during the cold months of the year, but local tomatoes make this salsa sing, so use them when you have them.
– Happy Eating, Annemarie
- 3 medium tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch dice
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped kalamata olives
- 2 tbsp capers
- 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
- 2 tbsp thinly sliced basil
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- kosher salt and pepper, to taste
Mix together all ingredients in a large bowl. Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed.