Monday, September 14, 2015

Eats: Roasted Tomato Salsa

Hello! This time of year, our local farmer's market beckons with piles of tomatoes, and I oblige by purchasing Romas for making salsa. For several years I used a recipe from an old Organic Gardening magazine. The salsa turned out well, but a good half-hour plus of cooking time was required. 

That's not a huge chunk of time, but a couple of years ago I came across a recipe for roasted tomato salsa in a Martha Stewart publication that was even faster. Basically it called  for putting cut-up Roma tomatoes, onions, garlic and jalapenos on a baking sheet. After seven minutes or so under the broiler, the vegetables are left to cool, then pureed until smooth with some salt. The only thing skinned before pureeing is the garlic. 

I put the recipe to the test and made a batch. It turned out fine, but I discovered I wasn't crazy about the finished appearance - the charred skins of the tomatoes, jalapenos and onions made the salsa darker than I preferred. 

So I made another batch. This time I cut the Romas and jalapenos in half before roasting for easier removal of the charred skins later. After broiling and cooling, I took the skins off all the vegetables. Broiling had loosened them enough that they slipped off easily. I liked the finished result better than batch #1.

The recipe yield is approximately 4 cups (amount is affected by the size of the veggies you start out with) - a good amount of good salsa with very little effort! When I make a batch, I set some aside to eat fresh and the rest is stored in the freezer. It keeps very well there. 

Just made some salsa earlier today:

Under my oven's broiler, this is how the vegetables looked after seven minutes. Think I'll let them get a little darker next time. 

Above, the finished salsa. I like mine smoother rather than chunkier, but you can puree yours to whatever texture you prefer.

After all that chatter, now it's time for the recipe:

Roasted-Tomato Salsa (adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe)

9 Roma tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (see notes below)

1 large white onion, quartered (see notes below)

3 jalapenos, more if desired (see notes below)

2 garlic cloves, unpeeled

1 tablespoon salt, plus more to taste (see notes below)

1. Preheat broiler. Place tomatoes, onion, jalapenos and garlic on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil until tomatoes and jalapenos are charred, about 7 minutes. Let stand until cool enough to handle.

2. Peel the roasted garlic. Transfer to a blender along with the charred tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, and 1 tablespoon salt. Puree until smooth. For a thinner consistency, add water as needed. Season with salt to taste. (Salsa can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.) Yield: 4 cups. 

Notes: I cut the tomatoes and jalapenos in half and place them, cut-side down, on the baking sheet. After broiling and cooling, I remove the skins off all the vegetables before pureeing them. 

I use half the salt specified in the recipe, and don't feel the need to add more to taste later. 

Of course, the heat level of the salsa depends on the chilies you use and how many. I would personally make this much hotter, but I have my husband's more delicate taste buds to consider, so I stick to the three jalapenos listed in the recipe. 

I used the blender the first time I made the salsa, but now have switched over to using the food processor. It seems to puree the mixture more evenly.

If you use another salsa recipe and it calls for other ingredients, such as cilantro, I'm sure you could try those seasonings in this recipe. This is a basic salsa as written - but it is easy and good. No more stirring and cooking down like I had to with my older recipe. Instead, the broiler does most of the work. That's fine with me!





  1. Looks wonderful. I think the salsa at Mario's on the north side of town is smoother as well. Of course, is there such a thing as bad salsa?

    1. I've not been to Mario's, but I think this salsa tastes a lot like the one at El Azteco in East Lansing, except I can't make mine quite as spicy. Maybe I should make some more just for me and supercharge it with heat!

  2. Looks wonderful. I think the salsa at Mario's on the north side of town is smoother as well. Of course, is there such a thing as bad salsa?