This salsa came about a few years back when my daughter and I spent most of the summer eating Margherita Pizza: a simple, summery combination of fresh tomatoes, fresh basil, and loads of garlic, together with mozzarella cheese on a pizza crust.

Prep time: 20 minutes.
Makes 4 cups.


  • 10 Roma tomatoes (Regular Romas in the grocery are about 3.5 ounces each. Once seeded and chopped you will have about 4 cups.)
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, removed from the stems, washed and dried
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  • Slice the tomatoes in half lengthwise. Remove and discard the seeds and pulp. Chop the tomatoes into small pieces and place them in a large bowl.
  • Stack 3-4 basil leaves on top of each other, roll them up from one of the long sides, then slice through the roll horizontally with a knife. Run your knife once or twice through these ribbons of basil and add them to bowl. Repeat with the rest of the basil leaves.
  • Finely mince the garlic cloves by hand or in a food processor, and add them to the bowl. Add in the oil, salt and pepper. Gently toss the ingredients together. 

The salsa can be served immediately or allowed to sit at room temperature for about 1 hour for the flavors to meld. Serve it with tortilla or pita chips. It can also be served on bite-sized pieces of artisan sourdough or white bread – if desired, sprinkle a little mozzarella or grated Parmesan cheese over the tops and place them under the broiler for about a minute, then serve them immediately.