Homemade Salsa

It’s time to update this one! I’ve simplified my salsa technique and now it only takes about 10 minutes active time. Roasting the tomatoes enhances their natural sweetness (sometimes improving lackluster produce) and reduces the odds you’re going to have a watery, sad salsa.

Note: If you don’t have a ton of storage space and cook a lot, you need a stick blender. Especially if it has a bunch of attachments (food processor bowls, whisks, etc.). I use mine at least a couple of times a week: smoothing out soups and sauces, making quick work of bread crumbs, whipping cream or egg whites, you name it. We have a 1.25 liter/5 cup blender attachment that makes very quick work of this.

8-10 medium tomatoes; Romas or San Marzanos are best, but any ripe tomato works
1 small white or yellow onion
1-2 hot green chilies; jalapeño or serrano are best, we can only get thai chilies
1 clove garlic
1 small bunch fresh cilantro
1-2 limes, juiced
1/4 t salt
1/4 t ground cumin

Heat the oven to 400°F/200°C. Slice tomatoes in half lengthwise, cutting out dense top of core but leaving the lower core and seedy goo. Lay all tomatoes on a large, rimmed baking sheet, cut side up. Sprinkle the cut surfaces with a little salt and roast for 30-40 minutes or until browned in spots and blistered. Set tomatoes aside to cool.

Cut top and bottom off of onion (the rooty and shooty bits) and slice lengthwise, discarding papery skin. Roast cut side up on a medium, rimmed baking sheet for 30 minutes or until browned in spots. If using a fleshy chili, stem and slice lengthwise and add cut side up to roasting onion for last 10-15 minutes of cook time. Since we use tiny thai chilies, we don’t bother roasting them. If you don’t like your salsa spicy, cut the seeds and membranes out of the chilies.

Place the roasted vegetables into a blender. Add peeled and quartered garlic, cilantro, juice of 1 lime, salt and cumin. Blend until large chunks are processed, taste and adjust seasonings as desired. This benefits from chilling for a couple of hours before serving.

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