When developing a salsa recipe, try to achieve balance among these elements:
*Color: The variety of heirloom tomatoes and peppers now available provides a nearly unlimited palette.
*Heat: Consider how hot the chilies are in the mix. You can add more heat with hot sauces or ground spices. For chili flavor without much heat, use ground spice mixes.
*Sweetness: Sweet flavors can moderate hot ingredients. Sweetness can come from expected sources, such as fruit, but also from balsamic or other sweet vinegars.
*Acidity: In addition to balancing the other elements, acidity -- from vinegar, many fruit juices, slices of whole citrus fruits and other sources -- can amplify the other ingredients' flavors.
*Aromatics: These will often be contributed by herbs, with cilantro a prime example. You can also use cumin, rosemary or an exotic element such as coffee.*Texture: Complementary or contrasting textures can add interest to a salsa. Corn, apples, pears and nuts are some examples of crunchy ingredients that can enhance smooth-textured salsas.