It's September. Wow. Where is 2012 going? My garden wasn't the best this year but I do still have a ton of basil, chives, sage, and rosemary. I also ended up with a stack of perfectly ripe tomatoes and jalapenos last week, so I decided to make some salsa. I normally use this recipe (inspired by Pioneer Woman), but I discovered a new option on Pinterest and decided to give it a try since I have a bumper crop of tomatoes and jalapenos at the moment. I'm pretty sure I'll be cleaning up and clearing out my tomato plants in the next week or so, so here's a recipe for you if you have some tomatoes on their last hurrah.
I modified the recipe to suit what I had on hand and our preferences for salsa. I used jalapenos instead of serranos, a little less onion and I added lime juice.
This recipe wasn't difficult at all... the worst part was waiting for it to be ready!
Cut up some tomatoes, garlic, onions, and jalapenos and lay them on a roasting pan lined with parchment paper (an oil-free way to prevent sticking... also makes cleanup a breeze).
Roast them at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until everything starts to get a nice char on the edges. At this point your house will smell intoxicating. I could not stop smiling while waiting to pull this out of the oven. How could something that smells this good not taste amazing?
Next, you need to wait for your hot vegetables to cool down. I scooped them onto a plate, popped them in the fridge and made a trip to ShopRite to pick up some fresh cilantro (I never have any luck growing my own) and some tortilla chips. Yes, I'm one of those people who goes to the grocery store three times a week, even though I keep a running list on my iPhone.
By the time I returned home with a bunch of cilantro and a bag of tortilla chips it only took me 5 minutes to whip up this salsa in my food processor. And you know what? It delivered on taste!
Here's what I love about this recipe:
1. It yields a thick salsa. You can process it to have less chunks, or you can leave it chunky.
2. It is fresh. It doesn't have the overly-processed vinegary taste that you find in jarred salsa.
3. It uses my abundant, fresh summer peppers and tomatoes in a creative way.
4. Roasting the vegetables really transforms the taste... the flavor seems more pronounced, yet the garlic and jalapenos are more subtle.
5. I don't have to peel and seed the tomatoes!
If it's summer and you have access to fresh tomatoes, I'd take this approach. If it's the middle of the winter and you want a convenient salsa that's just as tasty, try this version.
One note about heat: I used two seeded jalapenos and I feel the salsa is mild to medium. I wasn't reaching for a drink as soon as I ate it, but it left a nice tang on my tongue. You can adjust the heat level up or down by using more or less peppers or by leaving the seeds in or taking them out. I think that this version, as written, is a crowd-pleaser and should not offend people who are sensitive to spice.
Thanks for being patient with me as I adjust to parenthood. I know the blog posts have been pretty spotty. Thank you to everyone who continues to send well-wishes! Max will be 6 weeks old tomorrow. Here's a recent photo of our little guy looking more like a toddler than a newborn:
Roasted Tomato Salsa
inspired by One Particular Kitchen
yields about 4 cups of salsa
8 medium-sized tomatoes, halved (your favorite variety)
1 onion, peeled and quartered
2 jalapenos, seeded and halved
4 whole cloves of garlic, peeled
1 Tablespoon kosher salt (if you use regular table salt, start with less and work your way up)
Juice of one lime
1 handful of fresh cilantro
tortilla chips for serving (I like Tostito's Scoops)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread tomatoes, onion, jalapenos, and garlic in a single layer. Roast until onions, peppers, and garlic are starting to develop a black char on the edges and tomatoes are bursting and sizzling.
Set roasted vegetables aside to cool (or speed things up by placing them in the refrigerator).
Place roasted vegetables, salt and lime in a food processor. Process or pulse to desired consistency. Use a tortilla chip to do a taste test and add more salt, if desired. Refrigerate and serve with tortilla chips.