An easy recipe for delicious fresh tomato salsa. Serve with tasty ‘matza nachos’ – machos! – for Passover snacking, or tortilla chips year round.
Many years ago a friend from a relevant bit of the USA taught me how to make ‘authentic’ Tex-Mex fresh tomato salsa. I had only really discovered ‘fresh’ salsa when I lived for a few months in California. Before that, the only salsa I’d had in the UK was a sort of cooked down, vaguely spicy tomato mush.
Fresh salsa was a revelation. It was prepared from raw ingredients, simply diced, and not cooked at all. Fresh, juicy, ripe tomatoes, zingy lime juice, handfuls of fresh herbs – it was so good!
I would happily eat a bag of tortilla chips with a huge bowl of delicious fresh salsa and call it dinner. YUM.
Many years have passed since that first encounter with fresh salsa, but the basic recipe that my friend gave me has remained a staple. It comes out for parties, buffets and barbecues, and the resulting fresh tomato salsa always vanishes!
Fresh salsa by any other name
What my family calls ‘fresh salsa’ is sometimes known by a number of different names. For instance, you may hear it referred to as:
- Salsa fresca – which simply means ‘fresh salsa/sauce’ in Spanish.
- Salsa cruda – ‘raw salsa/sauce’ in Spanish.
- Pico de Gallo – which means ‘beak of the rooster’ in Spanish. This is thought to refer to the shape of your fingers if you try to pick some up!
Fresh salsa – ingredients
The ingredients for this fresh tomato salsa recipe are very simple, but it’s essential that you choose really good produce to get the best, most delicious flavour. To make it you will need:
- Ripe, juicy tomatoes
- Red onion
- Fresh coriander (cilantro)
- Fresh, juicy limes
- Fresh chilli – optional but adds a bit of spice and heat!
You will also need a chopping board and a good, sharp knife. The ingredients need to be chopped into small dice and if your knife isn’t sharp enough you will end up with tomato mush instead of nice cubes of diced tomato.
Fresh salsa and matza nachos
Fresh salsa is very easy to make. As I was chopping the ingredients the last time I made it, I realised it was also completely kosher for Pesach! However the tortilla chips that we usually use to scoop it up, are of course, chametz.
But worry not! Matza nachos are here! The perfect Passover friendly salsa scooper for all your savoury snacking needs!
What are matza nachos
Matza nachos – or ‘machos’ – are exactly what their name suggests – crunchy tortilla-style chips made from matza.
You can eat them anywhere you would normally eat tortilla chips. They are great for dipping, and also deliciously moreish when you just want a snack. They have a terrific crunch, and you can vary the flavour according to which spices and seasonings you have available.
A few years ago I shared this recipe for sweet matza nachos with fruit salsa, which make a fun Pesach snack or dessert. But of course they are just as easy to make savoury, and serve with a delicious and easy fresh tomato salsa.
How to make matza nachos – machos!
To make matza nachos all you will need is:
- Matza – of course!
- Olive oil
- Seasonings – I used paprika, garlic powder, and oregano, but you can use whatever seasonings or spices you prefer.
First, the matza sheets are softened slightly in hot water. This enables you to cut them into triangles without shattering them!
The matza triangles are then given a coating of olive oil and seasoned with salt and your choice of spices, herbs or flavourings. Then they are simply baked in a hot oven for a few minutes until they are crisp and crunchy!
Once the baked matza nachos are cool, they’re ready to eat!
Matza nachos – fully loaded!
While we enjoy our machos with nothing more than delicious fresh salsa, you can go all-out and make a platter of fully loaded matza nachos to share with your family and friends.
Make a generous layer of matza nachos on an ovenproof platter, then sprinkle over a good handful of grated cheese. Bake in a hot oven until the cheese has melted, then dollop with salsa, guacamole, and soured cream, and scatter over some more chopped coriander (cilantro). Serve and enjoy!
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Fresh tomato salsa and matza nachos
- chopping board
- Sharp knife
- Baking sheet
- Non-stick liner
- Pastry brush
- mixing bowl
For the salsa
- 3 medium ripe tomatoes
- ⅓ medium red onion
- ½-1 red chilli
- handful fresh coriander (cilantro)
- 1 lime – juice only
- pinch salt
For the matza nachos
- 2 sheets matza
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp paprika
- ½ tsp oregano
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- pinch salt
To make the fresh salsa
- First make the salsa. This gives the flavours time to mingle while you make the matza nachos. Cut the tomatoes into 7-8 mm (¼ inch) dice and put into a bowl. Finely chop the red onion and chilli and add to the tomatoes.
- Remove most of the stems from the coriander (cilantro). Coarsely chop the leaves and add to the bowl with the other ingredients. Add the lime juice and salt and mix everything well. Leave to stand while you make the matza nachos.
To make the matza nachos (machos)
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Line a baking sheet with a nonstick liner.
- Place the matza sheets in a shallow dish and pour boiling water over them. Leave to stand for a few seconds then drain off the water and pat with paper towels. The matza should have be soft & pliable but not mushy.
- Using a sharp knife, cut each matza sheet into triangles. Arrange the matza triangles on the lined baking sheet.
- In a small bowl, mix the oil, paprika, oregano, garlic powder and salt. Gently brush this mixture over the uppermost side of the matza triangles.
- Bake in the oven at 200°C (400°F) for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and carefully turn over the triangles. Brush the remainder of the oil mixture over the uppermost side of the matza triangles.
- Bake for a further 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack. The matza nachos will crisp up further as they cool.
- Transfer the fresh salsa to a serving dish and serve with the matza nachos for scooping.
More delicious matza recipes
And don’t forget to check out my Secrets of a Stress-Free Pesach.
These delicious matza nachos and fresh salsa are completely vegan. For dozens more vegan Pesach recipes, plus hints, tips and advice, take a look at the Vegan Pesach Survival Guide.
You can browse all my Passover recipes and ideas here.