This Fresh Garden Salsa, known as 1-2-3 Punch Salsa, packs a punch with three different types of hot peppers – habanero, poblanos, and jalapeños – for the BEST homemade salsa recipe! A little garlic and onions, plus fresh tomatoes and cilantro too!
A long time ago, while I was living in Tucson, my friend Chris would bring salsa into the office. It was an on-going competition to see who could make the best salsa in the office.
Well, we loved Chris’ version which he called the 1-2-3 Punch.
And as you might imagine, he named it after this infamous pepper trio…
If I still lived in Tucson, I would be growing all kinds of hot peppers in my garden. It’s tough to grow hot weather plants in Flagstaff above 7,000 feet. With cooler night time temps all summer long, you really need a greenhouse. I’m still learning.
With one garden season in the books here, I am have officially begun planning for this year’s garden. Learning from last year’s mistakes, I purchased a new grow light so my plants wouldn’t be leggy again. And I’ve got a master plan that includes a salsa garden area! I will get those peppers to grow for this fresh garden salsa!
How to plant a salsa garden
There are plenty of salsa growing kits out there to get you started – seeds and all. For those of us with cooler summer nights, well, this year I have row covers to keep my plants cozy warm.
Really all you need are a few basics to get started:
- Seeds or plants for each ingredient you’ll use in your salsa (tomatoes, cilantro, onion, garlic (planted in fall), and hot peppers. Most of us will have to purchase a lime at the grocery store.
- A sunny spot with some good soil (ask your local garden center for advice). All of these ingredients can be grown in a container garden too if you don’t have any yard to work with.
- A little sweat, hard work and patience. And a watering schedule of course!
Which tomatoes are best for making salsa?
For making salsa, and any sauce really, you want to choose a tomato with fewer seeds and pulp. Any meaty tomato, like Roma tomatoes which are easy to find, or the aptly named salsa tomato will work well. Cherry tomatoes or heirloom tomatoes are not good choices.
Grow your own and get much better tomato flavor!
The Farmer’s Markets are also a great place to find the right tomato for homemade salsa.
Should I remove the seeds + juicy pulp when making salsa?
Yes. The seeds and pulp will make your salsa watery. Which is why it’s best to choose a meaty tomato without a lot of seeds to start with. Use a spoon to scrape out all the pulp + seeds.
1-2-3 Punch Salsa packs a punch with three different types of hot peppers – habanero, poblanos, and jalapeños. A little garlic and onions, plus fresh tomatoes and cilantro for a big batch of homemade salsa.
- 1 habanero pepper (seeds removed)
- 2 poblano peppers (seeds removed)
- 3 jalapeño peppers (seeds removed)
- 2 lbs fresh tomatoes, seeds and pulp removed (or one 32oz canned chopped tomatoes)
- 1/2 medium onion
- 2 Tbs lime juice
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 tsp Kosher salt (more to taste)
- cilantro, chopped (optional)
Add all ingredients EXCEPT CILANTRO to blender. Blend until texture is how you prefer your salsa – chunky, smooth, etc.
Check the seasoning; adding more salt a 1/2 tsp at a time, if needed. Top with chopped cilantro.
TIP: Salsa is best made a day before using. This gives the flavors time to marinate.
Option: Before blending, consider roasting all the ingredients except cilantro with a little olive oil @ 350F for 15 minutes. Roasting adds a depth of flavor and cuts the bite from the garlic and onion. Either way this is a great salsa!