The Best Salsa Ever

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The Best Salsa Ever

I’m really excited about this post, today, for a few different reasons, but most of all because it is Father’s Day and I have dedicated this post to my dad (Happy Father’s Day Dad!!!).  I know the naming of this recipe might sound a little presumptuous, but it really is the best salsa ever, and would I lie to you?!

Up until a few years ago, my father owned a Mexican style restaurant called the Oasis, which he dubbed as being “Ark-Mex” (Arkansas Mexican).  That might have a little something to do with my obsession with Mexican food!  My dad opened the Oasis soon after I was born and I pretty much grew up on all of the delicious food that he made.  And, on top of all the delicious food was always a huge pile of this amazing salsa.  It’s a green salsa that gets its color from green peppers and cilantro.  

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This salsa is so good that my mom used to ask us to bring her extra and she would drink it right from the container!  A few years ago, my dad was even approached to can his salsa and sell it, but since it is made fresh everyday, unfortunately that wasn’t a possibility.  Since I can’t buy it at the store and I live thousands of miles away from home, I just had to try my hand at making it.  When I asked my dad for the recipe, in true chef fashion, he said things like; a handful of tomatoes, two handfuls of green peppers, small handful of onion.  So, I got to work and came up with a recipe and, I don’t mean to brag, but it tastes spot on and with just one bite of this salsa I was completely transported back to the Oasis, and it was glorious!

My dad’s restaurant not only served amazing food, but also had a really awesome atmosphere.  It was pretty small and not too many places to sit, but people would happily wait for an hour to get a seat, it was that good!  The walls were covered with tons of amazing artwork, some from local artists.  It was definitely a favorite hangout for  the locals!  

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That is my dad in the maroon sweatshirt and jeans on the very left side of this photo!  (photo by Richard Quick)

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The Original “Ark Mex” Cuisine!

You can’t really see it anymore, but on the light switch, all the way to the left in the middle of the photo, is the remnants (the yellow thing) of a light switch cover sticker that I gave my dad when I was in kindergarten!

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Eric’s first visit to the Oasis!  I’m so happy I got to take him there!

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I also want to thank my dad for passing down his love of cooking to me.  I really don’t know if I would have become the cook that I am today if it weren’t for his influence.  I remember being a little girl and standing on a tall chair, staring over the restaurant kitchen counter and just watching him cook for hours.  I definitely caught the kitchen bug from my early days hanging out in his restaurant, and thankfully it has never left.  Thanks dad!!  Below are my two all time favorite Oasis dishes, the super nachos (top) and the potato egg and cheese tacos, covered in this delicious salsa (bottom).  

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5.0 from 1 reviews
The Best Salsa Ever
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Salsa, Gluten Free, Vegan
Ingredients
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1½ green peppers, diced
  • ⅔ cup sweet yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2½ teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • ⅓ cup cilantro leaves, packed
  • pickled jalapenos, to taste, I used about 1
  • salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients into a food processor, or blender, and blend until mixture has reached desired consistency.
Notes
Makes about 3 cups of salsa

 

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Instead of ending with the usual picture of Cheeto, I thought it would be appropriate to share this photo of my dad with his cat, Mr. Feebers (a love of orange tabbies must run in the family)!  Happy Father’s Day Dad, I love you!

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Comments

  1. says

    Aww, love the last pic and I bet this salsa must be awesome!!

  2. says

    What a great recipe to dedicate to your dad! And this really does look like the best salsa. I love salsas that can be made in the blender, so easy to whip up and delicious! Your pictures are gorgeous, too! Pinned!

    • She Likes Food says

      Thanks Gayle! I agree, they are so easy and so fresh! It really is the best salsa I have ever eaten! Thanks for pinning :)

  3. says

    Izzy! This post made me feel so emotional!!! For real. What a beautiful tribute to your awesome dad. You clearly come by cooking honestly, and I am SO jealous you got to be surrounded by all of that delicious food growing up! Ark Mex sounds incredible! And very original! So fresh, and vibrant. And that salsa -I’m making this! I want it on everything I eat this week.

    OMG little kindergarten Izzy. Adorable. Speaking of condiments and kindergarden, you sparked my memory and made me realize how we are even more alike! This was in preschool, but, close enough: at snack time, we would get veggies and ranch dressing in little disposable cups and I would eat the veggies plain and DRINK the ranch dressing, making sure to get it all. Sound familiar? 😉

    It was so wonderful you got to bring Eric to Oasis, he looks delighted and relaxed. What a wonderful, warm, and inviting family you have. My heart is melting. And Mr. Feebers and your dad really seal the deal! Naming a cat “Mr.” anything is the most hilariously awesome thing ever :) I hope you have a fantastic day with the special dudes in your life! xo

    • She Likes Food says

      Al! I’m so glad you enjoyed this post! It was so much fun to write! And a great excuse to make this salsa again, not that I needed one! You really should put it on everything!! Like, I said, my mom used to drink it, lol! It was so awesome growing up eating all the yummy food, and when I went to college, I tried to convince my dad to open up a restaurant in my college town, unfortunately he did not, ha!

      Oh my gosh, I’m laughing so much about your ranch drinking story! I can just imagine little Allison drinking her little cup of ranch dressing, haha! It definitely sounds familiar! I have so many ranch dressing stories!

      I’m so glad I got to take Eric there, and when he was reading over this post last night, he kept saying how much he missed that food! I was hoping he would let me eat all of the salsa, but he insisted that he get half of it! I love the name Mr. Feebers and it is so cute that my dad loves him so much! When we first got Cheeto, Eric wanted to name him Mr. Meowgi (karate kid reference, I think), but I had to put my foot down on that, haha. Whenever a new person comes over to the house, Eric always introduces Cheeto as Mr. Cheeto!

  4. says

    What a beautiful post, Isa. I loved reading your dad’s restaurant story and I had fun looking at all these picture. You are luck girl 😉 I bet this salsa is AH-mazing. Thanks so much for sharing this beautiful story with us. Have a great sunday 😉

    • She Likes Food says

      Thank you, Olivia :) I’m so glad you enjoyed the story, his restaurant was such an amazing and unique place! I’m so glad I got to have that experience! I hope you have a great Sunday too!

    • She Likes Food says

      Thank you! There is something about it that is amazing! It would taste great with fresh veggies, that is a great idea :)

  5. says

    Isadora, this was such a lovely post! Most of all, it REALLY made me want to hop on over to that wonderful restaurant of your dad’s. It looks like it has so much atmosphere … my favourite kind of restaurant for sure. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe with us. I feel like I’m very honoured to have this shared with me! :-)
    P.S. Mr. Feebers is so funny! He certainly looks like a wise old thing sitting there with his paws crossed and eyes closed … as if thinking very deeply about something very important!

    • She Likes Food says

      Thank you so much, Helen!! I had so much fun writing this post, it means so much to me! The restaurant is still there, he just doesn’t own it anymore, one of his employees bought it when he decided to retire. So, if you are ever in Arkansas you can still eat there, haha! It was such a neat and eclectic place, I loved it so much! Mr. Feebers is funny and such a ham for the camera, haha, he looks very wise. That is one of my favorite photos of both of them!

  6. Rosie says

    I am so excited to make this! It REALLY is the best salsa ever, in case anyone is wondering!! Charlotte used to sometimes bring me a tub of the leftover salsa from the day and I could sit and eat the whole tub at one sitting. I am super excited to be able to make it myself now. Also, I always thought it was made with green tomatoes, I don’t know why, I just assumed. Glad I didn’t try to wing it, LOL

    • She Likes Food says

      Hi Rosie! I was scared it was going to sound like I was exaggerating, but I’m so glad you agree that it is the best salsa ever!! I ate this batch in two days and I think Eric was a little annoyed when he asked for some the second day and it was pretty much all gone! I think I need to start making it more often. That is funny about the green tomatoes! I feel like I used to think the same thing. I’m so happy I could share the recipe with you, and now you can make it all the time :)

  7. Savanah says

    I can vouch for the amazing salsa! A couple of years ago, I even won a salsa contest at my husband’s work with it!
    What a wonderful tribute to the Oasis. SO many hours of our childhood was spent there– every Saturday, all day, to start with. I still remember the phone number–and what a huge deal it was when they got a phone! And I was just thinking the other day about hauling ice from next door– how impractical it sometimes seemed (but actually made perfect sense). Mmm. This post stirred up some memories and some hunger pangs– I think it’s time to go eat lunch!

    • She Likes Food says

      I’m so glad you agree on how amazing it is! That is awesome that you won a salsa contest with it, I am not in the least bit surprised! We did spend so many hours down there, so many memories and good food! Also, remember the tiny bathroom? For some reason it sticks out in my memories, haha. I’m so bummed that I wasn’t able to come visit with Faune and see all you guys and eat at the Oasis. 0886! I don’t think I will ever forget that either, and I still don’t know how they managed to get that phone number, haha. I do remember the ice too, and do you remember the hard candies we used to buy from next door? I remember getting the blue ones and they would turn my whole mouth blue! Enjoy your lunch :)

  8. Jack says

    Thank You so much to my incredibly talented and beautiful daughter Isadora for one of the best Father’s Day gifts ever!!! I am overwhelmed with joy every time I behold her wondrous and magical blog.

    • She Likes Food says

      Awww, thanks Dad!! I really mean it when I say that I would not have caught the cooking bug if it weren’t for you, you have taught me so much! I’m so glad you enjoyed this post! Happy Father’s Day!! I love you!

  9. says

    Hi Izzy,

    I love all the photos of your dads restaurant and this lovely tribute to your dad. (Not to mention the photo of Mr. Feebers).

    It must have been awesome growing up watching him cook and learning from him. The Oasis must be the coolest name ever for a restaurant.

    And the salsa, if you say it’s the best ever…I trust. I just think it’s funny that my 2-year-old loves spicy food. She’s gonna love this!!

    • She Likes Food says

      Thank you so much, Laura! Mr. Feebers is pretty cute, isn’t he?! It really was so great to have that experience and grow up around all that. I learned so much!

      Haha, it definitely is the best ever!! That is funny that your two year old love spicy food so much, I’m kind of a wimp sometimes when it comes to spicy food, but when I make this salsa, I always have to give it a good kick!

  10. says

    This looks fantastic! I love love love fresh salsa like this! I have been on a tortilla chip kick lately and have been making them fresh, this salsa would be perfect with them! I love the story about your Dad. So fun that he passed down the love of cooking to you!

    • She Likes Food says

      Thanks Annie! I love it so much too! I always seem to be on a tortilla chip kick! I’m so glad you enjoyed my story :) Homemade chips would taste amazing with this salsa!

  11. says

    That is so cool your dad had a Mexican restaurant! That is my absolute favorite type of food to go out and eat. This salsa does sound like the best salsa ever. Love that you added bell pepper. I’m going to have to make this and try it out stat!

    • She Likes Food says

      Thanks Natalie! Mexican is my absolute favorite too! I could eat it everyday and be happy! The green peppers give it such a unique and delicious taste. I hope you enjoy it!

  12. says

    That is so so cool about your dad! And I love that he passed down his love of cooking to you : ) My dad doesn’t do much cooking lol but he does try! This salsa looks amazing – I am a chips and salsa addict …. I would love of big bowl of this right now for some serious snacking!

    • She Likes Food says

      Thank Ashley! I feel very lucky to have had him cooking around me at such a young age! At least your dad tries, lol! Sometimes I think my husband has forgotten how to cook because I pretty much cook everything these days! I am a huge chips and salsa addict too! Like, I could probably down a huge bag of chips and all this salsa in one day! It would be great for some serious snacking :)

  13. says

    Yum, Izzy, I just love chips and salsa! I’ve never tried it like this with the green peppers, but I’m definitely putting this in my long list of recipes to try! My parents and I had a favorite Mexican restaurant in Mesa, and I miss it so! There’s no place in Tucson that compares, so we’ll trek up to the Phoenix area just to eat there. :-)

    P.s. I emailed you about getting together, but I’m not sure if you got it! :-)

    • She Likes Food says

      Hi Lauren! Me too! I pretty much always have them on hand and they are one of my go-to snacks! Driving two hours to go to a Mexican restaurant sounds like something we would do too! It must be a really great restaurant if nothing else in Tucson compares, now I want to go there!

      I just e-mailed you back! Sorry it took so long, the new job was been crazy busy!

    • She Likes Food says

      Thank you, Kathy! I hope you love it, it really is the best :) It is perfect for the summertime!

  14. says

    That is so cool that your dad owned a Mexican restaurant. I LOVE mexican food, so I would have been in heaven! :) And this salsa? Totally agree that it looks like the best. Perfect summertime salsa! I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t even need chips for this. 😀

    • She Likes Food says

      Hi Sarah! It was pretty awesome, I feel so lucky to have grown up around all that delicious food! Mexican food is my favorite and I could eat it everyday! It really is the best salsa :) Yes, all you really need is a spoon!

  15. says

    Ahh, Mexican restaurants like your dad’s are probably what I miss the most about living out of the US. Growing up in the Southwest, Mexican was the cuisine of my childhood and it’s still comfort food to me today. Salsa is hard to come by here in Switzerland though so I default to making pico de gallo usually but am very excited to try out this recipe to change these up. Thank you for the inspiration Izzy!

    • She Likes Food says

      Hi Katie! That is so awesome that you grew up in the Southwest! I’ve only lived in Arizona for about a year, but I’m already in love with all the delicious food here! I imagine that it would be hard to get good Mexican food in Switzerland, haha! I hope that, at least, it is not too hard to get the ingredients and cook it at home! I’m not sure I could ever live without Mexican food! I hope you enjoy this salsa :)

  16. says

    What a great post! Your tribute to your Dad is so moving . Your Dad’s restaurant looked like such a cool place, what an awesome environment to grow up in; no wonder you’re such a great cook! I can’t wait to try this Best Salsa Ever!

    • She Likes Food says

      Thank you so much, Katie!! It was so fun to write and I think it meant a lot to my dad! It was a really cool place! He retired a few years ago and one of his employees bought the restaurant from him, but it just isn’t the same since he doesn’t cook there anymore. I definately try, but I’m not sure I’ll ever be as good as he is :) I hope you enjoy this salsa!

    • She Likes Food says

      Thanks Jess! Salsa is one of my favorites too! I practically drink it from the jar sometimes, haha! I hope you love it :)

  17. says

    Great post! That sounds awesome to grow up around a restaurant. It looks like a great place. Love all the wall decor 😀
    I laughed when you asked for the recipe and got the handful of this and that. This salsa looks delicious! I’m definitely making this 😀

    • She Likes Food says

      Thank you Cindy! It was really neat to grow up around all of that! I kind of wish I had taken it over! At least I still have all the delicious recipes though! I must have also inherited the inability to measure from him, haha! I did my best to measure these ingredients exactly though, so that everyone else can enjoy this salsa too! I hope you love it :)

  18. says

    Aaw, what a wonderful post dedicated to your dad :) Your dad’s restaurant looked so cool and so awesome that he passed down his love of cooking to you. This salsa looks so amazing and I can’t wait to try it :)

    • She Likes Food says

      Thanks Kelly!! It was such a fun post to write! His restaurant really was so cool, I miss going there so much! You will not be disappointed if you try this salsa, it really is the best :)

  19. Shoshona says

    Holy cow, Issy. I don’t know if I missed this post when it came out, or if it’s just like brand new reading it again, but this is very sweet and makes me feel nostalgic! I loved that place! Thanks for this recipe too, Jan and Blake brought this salsa to a potluck we had last spring when Mayim brought his family to AR, and I couldn’t get enough. I will be making some soon!

    • She Likes Food says

      Thanks Sho!! I was just thinking about the Oasis the other day and getting very nostalgic! Especially for those super nachos :) oh my gosh, I can’t get enough either! I really need to make another batch of it soon!

  20. Kyle & Angie says

    Hi Izzy!
    Wanted you to know we have been going to The Oasis for about five years now. We make a couple trips each year and eat at The Oasis at least twice each trip and have been in love with the salsa from day one! Several times we have bought pint or quart jars to bring home but we eat it so fast that it is gone before you know it. We just returned from there over Memorial weekend and had kind of had an idea what I thought was in it to at least try to get close. The food there is incredible …. Dena and crew are carrying on with the wonderful Oasis tradisions! Did you know they have moved??

    • She Likes Food says

      Hi Kyle and Angie! That is great to hear! As much as I love making the salsa myself, I really miss going to the restaurant in person and eating all the yummy food! My dad let me know that it has moved, but I haven’t been back since then to see it. I’m glad to hear that Dena is carrying on all the tradition :) Thanks so much for your comment!

  21. Angel Morris says

    I worked at the Oasis as a teenager washing dishes and cannot tell you how much I miss your fathers amazing food. I can’t wait to make this salsa… although something tells me I’m still going to miss everything that once went with it <3

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