This rich and textured salsa from Guanajuato will complement steak, chorizo, or grilled chicken. This salsa is so succulent and hearty that, wrapped up in a hot homemade tortilla, it can be a meal in itself. You can also add chopped nopales to the finished salsa. Serves 10.

My Grandmothers Salsa

Olga Medina

6 Roma tomatoes
6 jalapeño or serrano chilies
1 ancho chili
1 güero chili
2/3 cup cilantro, finely chopped
2/3 cup red onion, finely chopped
2/3 cup white onion, finely chopped
2 avocadoes
1 lime
salt to taste

Roast chilies and tomatoes (see roasting instructions). Place chilies and tomatoes in a towel or closed bag for 5-10 minutes to soften skin, then remove skins. Put chilies first, and then tomatoes into a molcajete (or a blender) and grind into small pieces, maintaining a coarse texture. Add coarsely chopped avocado, then add onion, juice of 1 lime, and salt to taste. Salsa can be refrigerated without the cilantro, avocadoes, and onions. Add these ingredients at time of serving.

Olga learned this recipe from her grandmother and mother. Her family lives in Silao, Guanajuato, and she grew up using the vegetables in their garden to make fresh salsas. When Olga first moved to the U.S. she would call her mom to make sure she was making their family salsa just right. Now her husband and children enjoy the recipe as one of their favorites.


This salsa was a favorite at the Mendocino County Fair salsa booth! It is fresh and vibrant and impossible to stop eating. Use fresh fruit (in season) for this colorful summer salsa. It’s quick and easy to make, combining tart and sweet flavors that go well with just about any dish, especially grilled fish and chicken.

Fresh Fruit Salsa

Carmela Valdivia

5 Roma tomatoes
2–3 serrano chilies
l/4 onion (large)
1 avocado
l/2 bunch cilantro
1–2 limes
l tsp. salt
l tsp. sugar (optional)
1 cup of any fruit
1/2 tsp. chopped mint leaf (optional)
1 Tbs. fresh grated ginger (optional)

Finely chop onion and chilies and put into a bowl. Add lime juice and set aside for at least five minutes. Add salt, sugar (optional), finely chopped cilantro and avocado to mixture. Add diced fruit: mango, peach, nectarine, pear, pineapple. Optional: Add 1/4 cup any other fruit for color (i.e. blackberries, grapes, raspberries, strawberries). If pineapple is used add 1 Tbs. of fresh grated ginger. Add diced tomatoes. In fresh salsas, tomatoes should always be added last as salt draws out the juice. This salsa should be eaten soon after prepared.

Carmela remembers her mother making this salsa with pescado dorado (fried fish) and she has continued the combination with her family. She is originally from Uruapán, Michoacan, and has lived in Anderson Valley for twelve years.


Pilar’s Gazpacho offers the experience of a summer garden. Its smooth, rich texture combines into a perfect balance of fruit and vegetable, punctuated with the earthy tang of jalapeño and cilantro. This salsa is divine as a chilled soup or an accompaniment to fish. Pilar says, “Buen provecho” enjoy.

Garden Gazpacho

Pilar Echeverria

1 yellow bell pepper, diced
10 cherry tomatoes, diced
1 jalapeño chili, deseeded
3 mangoes, peeled and diced
2 cups cantaloupe
3 cucumbers, peeled, diced
1 cup + 2 Tbs. green onions,
3 Tbs.+ 2 Tbs. cilantro
1 avocado
2 cups vegetable broth
½ cup fresh lime juice & pulp
½ tsp turmeric (optional)
½ tsp salt, pepper
2 cups orange juice
2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil

Add 5 of the cherry tomatoes, ½ jalapeño, lime juice, turmeric, salt, orange juice, one mango, and 2 cups of melon to vegetable broth and blend for about 30 seconds. Put this mixture into a large serving bowl and add the rest of the ingredients (except 1 cup green onions and 3 Tbs. cilantro). Salt and pepper to taste. Chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Garnish with remaining cilantro, green onions and sliced avocado cut into squares.

Pilar, a former student of the adult school and current proprietress of the Mosswood Café in Boonville, created this heavenly gazpacho in her effort to use local and homegrown foods and to satisfy and please her customers. She is from the state of Michoacan and grew up helping her mom cook traditional Mexican dishes. Her passion is creating delicious food.