Salsa or salad? You decide which way to go

PUBLISHED: 07:00 03 August 2019 | UPDATED: 09:01 05 August 2019

Tomato salsa salad with capers and mint. Photography © Simon Wheeler

Tomato salsa salad with capers and mint. Photography © Simon Wheeler


Tomato salsa salad with capers and mint

What's the difference between a fresh tomato salsa and a tomato salad?

Not much really, but for me, a tomato salsa should always include some kind of raw allium - shallot, onion, spring onion - to give it an edge.

And if you chopped the tomatoes more finely for this recipe, you'd have a definite salsa, I'd say - perfect for eating with burgers or spicy chicken.

But leave the tomatoes in fat chunks and this is a salad, needing only some torn fresh bread to mop up the juices, and perhaps some buffalo mozzarella or tangy fresh goat's cheese alongside.

Capers are not everyone's favourite thing, so just leave them out if they don't appeal.

And if you don't fancy mint, torn basil leaves or roughly chopped parsley are good options, too.

Serves 4

500g ripe, tasty tomatoes

1 shallot or ½ small red onion, very finely chopped

1-2 tablespoons tiny capers, rinsed

A small squeeze of lemon juice

2-3 tablespoons rapeseed or extra virgin olive oil

A tiny pinch of sugar

A few torn mint leaves

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cut the tomatoes into quarters, then halve each quarter width ways.

Place in a bowl and lightly stir in the shallot or onion and capers.

Put the lemon juice and oil in a small jug, season well and add the sugar.

Whisk together, then trickle over the tomatoes.

Scatter over the torn mint leaves and serve.

This recipe features in River Cottage Every Day, written by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, published by Bloomsbury, and available from

Photography © Simon Wheeler

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