Don't Be Alarmed If Your Homemade Salsa Is Pink

Making fresh salsa at home is actually worth the hassle when you realize that pre-made salsas are full of preservatives like xantham gum or guar gum. Plus, the ones at the store already come at pre-set spice levels, which can be too mild for some and too spicy for others. With any type of homemade salsa, you can add as many (or as few) jalapeños as your heart desires.

Trying to make your salsa taste like restaurant-style salsa can seem daunting at first. First, you have to decide how to cook your ingredients before combining them. Then there's the process of turning vegetables into salsa, which requires using a blender or food processor so that everything becomes a cohesive mixture. What usually ends up happening is that your ruby-colored tomatoes, onion, lime, and jalapeños meld into a salmon-pink sauce instead of achieving that deep umber color typical of salsa roja. So what, if anything, went wrong?

An aerated salsa

There's no need to worry about pink salsa. Before you decide to add additional tomatoes or red chilies to make your salsa deeper in color, let it sit for a while. Combining anything in a blender or food processor can make your product lighter and fainter in color than the ingredients you started with. This is due primarily to the high speed of the blades, which aerate the mixture and create tiny air bubbles throughout. Aerating your tomatoes in any dish will inevitably give them a lighter color — pink or orange instead of red. The same process occurs in homemade blended salsa. This is completely natural, and the salsa will darken as you give the mixture time to settle.

One foolproof way to darken your salsa and achieve that rustic, dark red hue is to cook it off on a stove top after you've blended it. Salsa is richer when made with charred vegetables, which give it a depth of flavor, but you can further intensify this roasted aroma by cooking it on the stove as well. As tomatoes usually darken in color once cooked, the salsa darkens as you let it simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.