|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 9g||12%|
|Saturated Fat 1g||6%|
|Total Carbohydrate 10g||4%|
|Dietary Fiber 2g||8%|
|Total Sugars 6g|
|Vitamin C 31mg||156%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
In South American cuisine, aji is the name for both a variety of chili peppers and fresh salsa made with the peppers. This Colombian recipe is known as salsa de aji picante, and it features a single habanero pepper, making it pretty spicy.
Beyond the pepper, the main ingredients in this vibrant salsa are tomatoes, onions, and cilantro. The flavor is similar to another classic Colombia salsa called hogao, though this is a no-cook recipe that comes together in minutes. Letting it rest in the fridge for an hour or more allows the flavors to marry and deepen.
The fresh salsa recipe begins by making a pepper juice that is tossed with the chopped ingredients. Vinegar and lime offer a nice tang that complements the hot pepper. It's best to start small with the salt and sugar, then add a bit more if needed to the finished salsa to suit your taste.
The finished salsa is a delicious complement to grilled meats and can be used to spice up any dish where you would normally add salsa. It also makes a great dipping sauce for fried plantains, arepas (South American corn cakes), or tortilla chips.
"This quickly became a new favorite salsa recipe. Considering it includes a habanero, it wasn’t too spicy, though it would be fabulous with jalapeños or a mix of peppers, too. The flavor is well-balanced and it was extremely simple to prepare." —Colleen Graham
1 habanero pepper, seeded and minced
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup vinegar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 to 2 teaspoons salt
1 to 2 teaspoons sugar
3 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
6 medium green onions, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup minced fresh cilantro
1/4 cup olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Steps to Make It
Gather the ingredients.
Place the habanero pepper in a food processor or blender with the water, vinegar, lime juice, and 1 teaspoon each of the salt and sugar. Process until smooth.
In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, onion, green onions, and cilantro. Toss with the pepper liquid and olive oil until well combined.
Season to taste with more salt, sugar, and black pepper.
Refrigerate the salsa in a covered container for at least 1 hour, or until ready to serve.
- Aji salsa can be as hot (picante) or as mild as you choose. The easiest way to adjust its heat is to choose a different pepper. For instance, a jalapeño will create a slightly milder salsa than the habanero.
- Distilled white vinegar is a good choice for this salsa, but you can also try it with apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar.
How to Store
Keep the fresh salsa refrigerated in an airtight container and it will last for up to one week. For longer storage, place it in a freezer-safe container for three or four months and thaw it in the fridge overnight.