April 13, 2024

How to Prepare a Tasty Salsa Criolla Recipe for Your Asado

Today I want to share with you another very popular Argentine sauce: salsa criolla. This is a vibrant and tangy salsamade from tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, and vinegar. Preparing it is as easy as it’s delicious! Would you like to taste it with your favorite Argentine asado? Here I’m sharing with you all the secrets […]

Daniela Solis

April 13, 2024

Today I want to share with you another very popular Argentine sauce: salsa criolla. This is a vibrant and tangy salsamade from tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, and vinegar. Preparing it is as easy as it’s delicious!

Would you like to taste it with your favorite Argentine asado? Here I’m sharing with you all the secrets of the perfect salsa criolla for your grilled meat. 

What is Salsa Criolla exactly?

Born from a melting pot of influences—spanning from indigenous peoples to European ones—Salsa Criolla has deep roots in the cultural heritage of Argentina. Legend has it that Salsa Criolla is a combination of Spanish and Italian immigrants who settled in Argentina in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. 

Salsa Criolla: A Bit Of History

Drawing inspiration from their own culinary traditions, these pioneers put their own spin on local ingredients, creating a sauce that serves as the perfect complement to Argentine asado (similar to what happens with chimichurri). Today, you’ll find places like Salta where salsa criolla is even served with empanadas or as a topping for sandwiches

The Best Salsa Criolla Recipe You’ll Find

Ready to roll up your sleeves and get to work? Here’s the best recipe for salsa criolla you’ll ever find: 

Ingredients:

2 large red onions, thinly sliced

2 ripe tomatoes, diced

1 bell pepper (red and green), thinly sliced

1/4 cup white vinegar

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Prepare the ingredients for Salsa Criolla

Begin by thinly slicing the red onions and bell peppers. I know it’s difficult when onions are making you weep 😂, but aim for uniformity in size! 

Then, dice ripe, flavorful tomatoes for added sweetness. Roma tomatoes are a popular choice due to their firm texture and rich taste, but feel free to use any variety you prefer. Finally, chop the fresh parsley, discarding the stems and finely mincing the leaves to release their aromatic oils.

Combine & add flavor

In a large mixing bowl, combine the ingredients (except for parsley) and then pour the vinegar and extra virgin olive oil over the mixture. Before adding the chopped parsley, give it a quick rinse under cold water and pat it dry with paper towels to remove any dirt or grit. 

Experiment

Don’t be afraid to get creative with your salsa criolla! In addition to traditional spices like dried oregano or red pepper flakes, you can create your recipe and add other herbs and spices such as fresh cilantro, minced garlic, or even a splash of lime juice. 

salsa criolla recipe

Then, taste your Salsa Criolla and adjust the seasoning as needed. For example, if you feel it’s lacking in acidity, add a bit more vinegar.

Let it rest

Allow the salsa criolla to marinate for at least 30 minutes at room temperature so flavors can meld together. For even better taste, refrigerate it for a few hours or overnight. 

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or transfer the salsa criolla to an airtight container before refrigerating to prevent it from absorbing other odors in the fridge.

Once the salsa criolla has marinated to your liking, it’s ready to serve with your tira de asado or vacìo. Enjoy it as a condiment alongside grilled meats, poultry, or seafood. It also makes a delicious topping for sandwiches or salads! 

How To Store Salsa Criolla?

You don’t need to eat all of your salsa criolla right away: in fact, you can store it for future asados and enjoy it later. Here are some tips to store your homemade salsa criolla so it doesn’t spoil! 

  • While your salsa criolla may feel right when stored on the countertop, it’s much better to chill it in the back of the refrigerator, where temperatures are cooler and more consistent. 
  • As time passes, your salsa criolla will gradually lose its freshness and flavor. It’s important to keep track of how long it’s been in the refrigerator, so make sure to label your container. 
  • Generally, salsa criolla can be stored in the fridge for up to 3-5 days before it begins to ferment. Be sure to use it before it reaches this point!

Finally, did you know that different places in Argentina have their own version of salsa criolla? For example, in Buenos Aires you may find generous amounts of fresh cilantro in the mix, giving the sauce a bright kick. 

Meanwhile, in Salta they tend to use local chilli peppers and serve this sauce alongside traditional empanadas or grilled chorizo. Why not try all of these versions of salsa criolla and see which one you like best with your meat or grilled burgers?

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