A cold beer–for me, a Bohemia–good chips and a well-made salsa help me survive a heat wave, though when I wrote today’s Seasonal Pantry, which you can read here, I wasn’t anticipating this week’s weather. It’s just a happy coincidence, as are the glorious tomatoes we’re enjoying right now. It is a perfect time to make salsa, which requires no heat and just a bit of quick chopping and mincing.

Today’s column features a very simple recipe for Salsa Cruda, one of the most basic salsas and my favorite in sizzling weather. As I looked through the Seasonal Pantry archives, I found these in columns from the last few years. None are traditional but all are delicious.

Simple and simply delicious traditional salsa from Chef Jesus Hernandez of Taqueria El Sombrero


Salsa from Chef Doña Chela of Agave

Green Shiso Salsa

David Chombo's winning Avocado Tomatillo Salsa


Chipotle Tomatilla Salsa

Avocado Tomatillo Sauce

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

Mango Salsa (with Wild Salmon)

Zucchini Salsa

It was Salsa Gigante, a competition at the Healdsburg farmers market on Tuesday night, that inspired the column. Although David Chombo of Taqueria Guadalajara won the contest, all of the salsas were excellent. I’d welcome any one of them right this minute: It’s 94 degrees in my Sebastopol office.

Chef Pedro Diaz of El Farolito crushes roasted tomatoes in his 80-pound molca jete.

Where’s a Bohemia when I most need it?