I’m always adjusting and tweaking salsa recipes to use for specific dishes. A slight twist to a tried and true salsa recipe can transform the taste with the slightest of hand. And to be honest it’s just an excuse to fool around in the kitchen and come up with what may be the next best salsa to add to your repertoire.
Flame roasting brings out flavors that no other cooking method can achieve and why grilling is so popular. Searing with intense heat releases otherwise lost flavors. In this case tomatoes and fresh chilies are charred on the outside with a sweetened flesh and an overall smokiness.
The results speak for themselves!
Rustic Fire Roasted Tomato Salsa makes about 3 cups
- about 1 ¾ ponds/800 grams firm vine ripe tomatoes
- 3-4 jalapeno chiles/ about 2 ounces/ 60 grams
- 1 onion, peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch rings
- 5 whole garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- about 1 ¼ teaspoons sea salt + more to taste
- 2 teaspoons Jerez sherry wine vinegar
- 5 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves or 1 ½ tablespoons minced fresh marjoram leaves
Flame roast the tomatoes and jalapenos on your stove top or outdoor grill (see here) . Set aside in a bowl until cool enough to handle.
Then, working over a bowl peel off and discard about half of the charred skin from the tomatoes and the jalapenos, leaving the remaining charred skin in tact as this will add a smokiness to the salsa.
Slice the tomatoes on a cutting board into quarters and remove the white inner core and chop each quarter in half being mindful to scrape all the juices into the bowl as you work. Set the tomatoes aside to use later.
Likewise, using another bowl peel off and discard about half of the charred skin from the jalapenos, leaving the remaining charred skin in tact. Slice the jalapenos in half on a cutting board and remove the firm white vein and some of the seeds if you like and discard. Chop the jalapenos and set side to use later.
Preheat the oven to 400 f/200 c
Peel and slice the onion into rings about ¼ inch thick. Place the onion slices and peeled garlic on a small baking tray, drizzle with the olive oil, and toss. Place the tray in the oven and roast for about 15 minutes, turning the onions once while roasting. When the onions are nicely browned and charred along some edges and the garlic is colored and browned in spots, remove the tray from the oven and set aside to cool.
Meanwhile place the tomatoes in a food processor and pulse until the tomatoes are evenly chopped but not pureed. Transfer the tomatoes back into their bowl.
Then add the jalapenos, roasted onions, and garlic to the processor and pulse until well chopped and transfer them to the bowl of tomatoes and stir to combine.
Add the salt, vinegar, and cilantro (or marjoram) to the bowl and mix everything together until well combined. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.
Transfer the salsa to a non-reactive container, seal with a lid, and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
Serve the salsa chilled or at room temperature.