Fresh tomato salsa

Contributed by Preston Maring, MD

Fresh tomato salsa

I recently had the great privilege to do a cooking demonstration for fifth graders from St. Leo's School in Oakland, California, at our hospital's farmers market. I wanted to show them something they could make at home. In fact, almost all of them promised they would go to this website to make this salsa. What a great day it was.

Dr. Deborah Gould, a long-time colleague of mine, who belongs to the professional organization, The Links, organized a visit to the school. We talked to the students about food and exercise. 

Many of them professed to help their moms and dads with all it takes to put meals on the table. But only a few are actually prepping fruits and vegetables yet. They certainly got a chance at school.

They used their plastic "lettuce knives" (they cut vegetables and not skin) and sliced many kinds of fresh fruit and veggies for snacks and to use to make sandwiches for lunch. 

Mollie Katzen, a friend of mine in recent years, is probably in the top ten cookbook authors of all time having started with the Moosewood Cookbook when I still had a beard, long hair, and Birkenstocks. 

Not only did she come up with the idea of what to do for the kids' lunch, but she also gave each one of them a copy of the age-appropriate cookbook, "Honest Pretzels". 

Each child received an apron, a book, and a bag of fruits and veggies from our market. After they met all the farmers at the market, we made some salsa. 

Nate Oubre, one of our hospital's senior leaders, put on an apron and sliced and diced with me. The resulting salsa was oh so good. 

This is the kind of recipe where amounts are approximate and you can do whatever you want. It's all good. 

Servings: 8


  • About 1 1/2 pounds Roma tomatoes, diced (gasp, these were shipped in)
  • 1/2 red onion, finely diced
  • 1 jalapeño, minced (save the seeds to add later if you want more heat)
  • 1 serrano chili pepper, seeded and minced
  • Small handful of cilantro, chopped
  • 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
  • Juice of one lime
  • Optional: dried oregano and ground cumin to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


  1. Mix everything together.
  2. Use it on fish, chicken, on tacos, with tortilla chips, or huevos rancheros.

Nutrition information (per serving)

  • Calories: 22
  • Total fat: 0 g
  • Saturated fat: 0 g
  • Trans fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 54 mg
  • Total carbohydrate: 5 g
  • Dietary fiber: 2 g
  • Total sugars: 3 g
  • Protein: 1 g