Confession: I could eat this salsa straight up, no chips required. And I probably will with the leftovers now that we’ve devoured the homemade tortilla chips.
This is not something I would do with most pureed, jarred salsas, but I like my salsas to straddle the line between salsa and salad, extra chunky and loaded with cilantro. If you are one of those people for whom cilantro tastes like soap and you don’t like the taste of soap, then this recipe will need some modification (maybe parsley instead). But if you’re like me and cilantro tastes like awesome, you could even go a bit heavier than the 3/4 cup I used in the recipe. I’m already contemplating chopping up an entire bunch of the stuff next time. Then it really will feel salad-ish enough to eat plain with a fork.
The tortilla chips are pretty stellar though, super crispy and slightly chewy. This is about the only good use I’ve found for brown rice tortillas after several years of attempting to warm them into a pliable wrap that always ultimately results with me wearing most of my lunch because it becomes brittle and crumbly again within seconds. But as baked tortilla chips? These are better than their wheat counterparts.
Aaron and I have been making these chips for years, always giving them a super light brushing of extra virgin olive oil, a sprinkle of sea salt, and a generous dusting of nutritional yeast – extra generous if the jar slips or the wind picks up through our kitchen window. Inevitably, this happens right after I’ve vacuumed so that our momentarily dog-hair-free floors get a dusting too. The upside is that we have the dogs to clean up that mess. I suppose they do help out around the house, in between shedding what seems like golden retriever amounts of hair. I’m always amused when people will say to me “puggles don’t shed though, do they?”. And then I tell them I own three vacuums for 1,000 square feet of space. You need at least 1.5 vacuums per puggle.
- 3 brown rice tortillas
- 2-3 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- about 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast (however much you prefer)
- few generous pinches sea salt
- 1 cup cooked corn kernels
- 1 cup cooked black beans
- ¾ cup chopped cilantro
- 1 medium tomato, seeded and diced
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 jalapeno chili, seeded and minced (adjust the amount to your liking)
- 5 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- sea salt to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
- Cut the tortillas into chips. I start by cutting mine in half, then quarters, and so on, until I have 12 chips from each tortilla.
- Spread the cut tortilla pieces in an even layer on your prepared baking sheet and lightly brush them with the extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle the pieces with sea salt and dust with nutritional yeast.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes until crisp and golden, making sure to begin checking the chips around the 10 minute mark because they burn easily. Once cooked, allow them to cool on the baking sheet before transferring them to a serving dish. Try not to eat all the chips before you make the salsa!
- To make the salsa, combine the corn, black beans, cilantro, tomato, scallions, jalapeno chili, lime juice, and garlic in a medium mixing bowl. Stir to combine and taste for spice. Add a few generous pinches of sea salt and taste again for seasoning. Repeat as necessary. The lime juice will help to lend a salty flavor without the addition of too much salt.
- I like to serve the salsa at room temperature with still slightly warm cheesy tortilla chips, but it's also great chilled on a hot day.
Photography by Aaron Scott