Difference-making Tomato Salsa

When my son was about fifteen we travelled to Cuba to brush up our Spanish and gawp at the cars (see Cuban tomato mojo). We also decided we should learn how to salsa dance. I duly hired a teacher, a huge man who was an ex-boxer (both boxers and dancers need to be quick and dainty on their feet so I could understand the change of career). He demonstrated, he danced with each of us and then he got us (both with left feet) to dance together. “No! No! Así no!” he bellowed at my son, “hay que dominarla!”. He explained that salsa dancing represented a delicious sexual tension between man and woman, but what he’d failed to recognise was the fact that if there is one woman in the world that a man can’t dominate, it’s his mother….

This is a quick, easy and relatively mild tomato salsa recipe which can liven up all kinds of dishes – roast lamb (or simmered lamb) and Formula One pea tarts to name just a couple – without overpowering them. It will keep for about a week in the fridge but it’s not acidic enough to preserve in a glass preserving jar.

Recipe for difference-making tomato salsa

Serves 4


  • 1 banana shallot, or alternatively you can use spring onions
  • 3 medium tomatoes, deseeded and chopped
  • 2 tbsp lime juice or zest and juice of one lime
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp soft brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp chopped mint
  • smoked salt and Indonesian long black pepper to season


  1. Mix all together and leave for at least half an hour. 

Salsa to watch

This is the best example of salsa dancing I can find on the internet; sinuous, sensuous moves set to a  heady, spicy mix of afro-Caribbean music, jazz and rock. Quite hysterical for a mother and son to combo to attempt together! Note to self: must try some of her initial in-front-of-the-hob moves next time I’m boiling up a hot sauce…..

Apologies for the the sound quality…

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