Salsa Criolla

One of my favorite things when I go to some of the local Latin American restaurants is the salsa criolla they serve with tostones, yuca frita, and grilled or roasted meats.  It’s a very simple little concoction of razor-thin slices of red onion mellowed in red wine vinegar and lime juice.  This is then tossed with a bit of chopped tomato and cilantro.  The flavors are simple, the texture crunchy, and it’s a wonderful accompaniment to the meal.  Tonight I roasted a pork tenderloin, but I didn’t feel like supreming an orange to make the red onion salad I served with it last time.  Instead, I decided to try my hand at making my own salsa criolla.  It turned out wonderfully, and was perfect with the tenderloin.  I would have loved to serve it with tostones, but my plantains have ripened since Sunday – the folly of advance meal planning.  Be sure if you make this to slice the onion very thinly, or use a mandoline.

Salsa Criolla


  • 1 red onion, very thinly sliced
  • 6-7 cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced or chopped
  • 2 T red wine vinegar
  • juice of 1 lime
  • extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 T cilantro finely chopped
Place the sliced onions in a bowl, and add the cherry tomatoes.  Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.  Toss with the red wine vinegar and the lime juice.  Drizzle all of this with extra virgin olive oil, and toss again.  Just before serving, mix in the cilantro.
Makes 1 1/2 – 2 cups.

6 thoughts on “Salsa Criolla

  1. You are right that this is yummy with pork — we had it with pibil style pork we roasted on the grill this past summer and it was excellent. I agree w/ you on the “folly” of meal planning. I’m always changing my plans to keep up with whatever needs immediate attention! As far as the mandoline goes, I almost sliced the end of my finger off last night cleaning mine. Hurts!

  2. @ kellypea – Roast pork from the grill sounds excellent. My “meal planning” always keeps me on my toes, because we are always changing our minds about dinner!

    Watch out for that mandoline!.. 🙂

  3. Oh man, I have all these ingredients sitting at home…waiting to be turned into something great! I think this is what they will become! And since I don’t eat pork, I think I’ll have it with some Spanish tapas like Patatas Bravas or even a Black Bean and Plantain soup – I like the idea of the Latin flavors, but something different than Mexican.

  4. Pingback: Cookbooks, lizzies and boonie pepper notes. « Food Near Snellville

  5. Pingback: Tostones (Fried Green Plantains) « Appoggiatura

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