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A Roasty Makeover

July 08 2008 by Kristin at The Kitchen Sink in Hors D'Oeuvres,Recipe » 34 comments

I know it was only a long weekend ago that I was lamenting the (all too many) recipes that I made and posted about long ago, whining that I wanted to post and post and post again about my favorite recipes. But there is a very big upshot that I failed to mention. In fear that the powers-that-be will revoke my glass-half-full badge, I think it’s best to mention the bright side now. And that is, of course, that this blog has inspired (or perhaps “forced” or “cajoled,” but let’s stick with the more positive “inspired”) me to push past my culinary comfort zone, leaving the recipes I can make with my eyes closed in my wake.

There are times, though, when I need a middle ground—when I don’t want to rely on my old standbys, but I don’t want to be beholden to a recipe either. Today’s salsa fits snugly in that middle ground. It’s a variation on the salsa that I’ve made a bajillion times: a make-over, if you will. Instead of combining raw tomatoes, garlic and peppers as usual, I’ve roasted them here, which deepens their flavors and, in this case, compensated for the rather sad roma tomatoes I was stuck with. And then, instead of chopping the veggies, I briefly whizzed them in the food processor.

(Click “more” for the rest of the story, more photos & the recipe.)

What resulted was a rustic puree of colors and textures, which looked not all that unlike jarred salsa (I’ll admit: “This stuff’s made in New York City!?!” ran through my head). Spiked with lime juice and seasoned carefully with coarse sea salt, though, the flavors were so much fresher, cleaner and brighter. I made this for our fourth of July barbecue (also known, as I mentioned, as our belated Cinco de Mayo fiesta, thanks to the Mexican menu), along with a variation on my standard guacamole, which featured a few of the remaining roasted peppers and cloves of garlic from the salsa. Sadly, there are no photos of the guacamole, but that means I’ll just have to make it again soon. Oh, darn. Wow, I am soooo good at this glass-half-full business.

Roasted Tomato Salsa

8 to 10 roma tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1 poblano pepper, halved lengthwise (remove the seeds and ribs, if you’re concerned about heat)
1 jalapeno pepper, halved lengthwise (remove the seeds and ribs, if you’re concerned about heat)
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro
1/2 cup roughly chopped red onion
2 to 3 tablespoons lime juice
sea salt, to taste

Preheat the oven to 425. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.

In a large bowl, toss the tomatoes, peppers and garlic with the oil, salt and pepper. Transfer the oiled vegetables to the prepared baking sheet and spread them into a single layer. Roast the vegetables for 20 minutes. At this point, start checking every 5 minutes and removing any vegetables that appear browned and softened (for me, this was the garlic first, then the peppers and finally the tomatoes). Once all the vegetables have roasted, allow them to cool slightly.

Transfer the slightly cooled vegetables to a food processor, fitted with a metal blade. Add the cilantro, red onion and 2 tablespoons of the lime juice. Pulse about a dozen times, to achieve the texture of a chunky puree. If the salsa is too thick, add more lime juice. Salt to taste (this is very important; add a little bit, try it and repeat as necessary). Either serve immediately or cover the salsa and refrigerate it, serving it cold.

34 comments so far. »
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  1. Pam says on July 08 2008 at 9:45 am:

    I love roasting salsa. Simple yet perfect. Nice job.

  2. Tracy says on July 08 2008 at 12:29 pm:

    I love making homemade salsa, the thought of roasting the vegetables sounds mouth watering. I am going to make this for sure. Thanks!

  3. GirlCanBake says on July 08 2008 at 1:12 pm:

    What a gorgeous salsa! Roasting makes the world a better place. And I love that you were just slightly out of your comfort zone. :) Great post!

  4. foodluvin says on July 08 2008 at 2:27 pm:

    I am a big salsa fan. This looks fantastic! I am going to try this only thinking I am going to grill the veggies instead of roasting. I will report back.

  5. Dragon says on July 08 2008 at 6:12 pm:

    I love salsa and this one looks divine! Thanks for the recipe.

  6. Cedar says on July 08 2008 at 6:33 pm:

    That looks absolutely divine. I am saving this recipe for the weekend!

  7. Olga says on July 08 2008 at 9:37 pm:

    this looks delicious. my sister goes to Culinary Institute of America and brought me some roasted salsa. I think we are going to do one of those dishes where you cook an egg inside the salsa. But it’s also delicious on ciabata with prosciuto (I’m probably completely misspelling it)

  8. Katiebaby says on July 08 2008 at 10:05 pm:

    This sounds great…..roasting the veggies is a grand idea…..wonder if adding cumin would make it any better? Will get back to you on that.

  9. grace says on July 09 2008 at 2:52 am:

    can you bottle that up and send me some? it looks absolutely perfect to me–no chips required. :)

  10. Kristin at The Kitchen Sink says on July 09 2008 at 4:54 am:

    Pam: Me too. Thanks!

    Tracy: Homemade salsa has to be one of the simplest things, but you’re right, everyone loves it. Hope you try it!

    GirlCanBake: Agree on roasting—even in the summer.

    foodluvin: I really like the grilling idea. I’m excited to hear how that works. It would also solve the whole “why on earth did I turn my oven up to 425 in July” problem.

    Dragon: Thanks!

    Cedar: Weekend-worthy? I’m so honored!

    Olga: I don’t know the egg-in-the-salsa thing! You’ll have to report back. Also, is there anything that’s not good with ciabatta and proscuitto?

    Katiebaby: I’m of the opinion that cumin makes just about anything taste better. It’s definitely the spice I go through most quickly. Please do report back!

    grace: This was straight-from-the-spoon kind of stuff. Not that I’d know. Wish I had some to jar up for you!

  11. ben says on July 09 2008 at 11:07 am:

    I’ve done a similar roasted salsa. Instead of roasting in the oven, try roasting in grill with charcoal/wood. I use a Weber 22″ and bank the coals to one side.

  12. Nate says on July 09 2008 at 12:09 pm:

    Roasting not only concentrates the flavor, it also concentrates the healthy antioxidants. I used that concept to make my roasted tomato onion and pepper gazpacho.

    I love roasted salsa. The ones they make at Chevy’s is so good, I could just eat salsa and chips all day long. Can’t wait till my own garden’s tomatoes, onions and peppers are ready for harvesting.

  13. Kristin at The Kitchen Sink says on July 09 2008 at 7:58 pm:

    ben: You and foodluvin (see above) should get together for a grilled salsa party. And, if you do, perhaps you’ll invite me?

    Nate: Sounds like a win-win: more delicious and healthier. I’ll take it! I bet your fresh-from-the-garden salsas will be delicious.

  14. Kevin says on July 09 2008 at 8:22 pm:

    That roasted salsa sounds great!

  15. mari says on July 11 2008 at 9:57 am:

    This looks like a salsa lovers heaven!

  16. weyn says on October 15 2008 at 12:23 pm:

    Hi! May I ask, what difference does it make when you boil the mixture, or slow cook it, from refrigerating for a few hours… other than the latter is easier to do? Haha
    Thanks in advance! I’m trying out your recipe :)

  17. Kristin at The Kitchen Sink says on October 19 2008 at 9:16 pm:

    weyn: I’m confused by your question. Are you asking if you can boil instead of roasting? Let me know and I’ll do my best to answer.

  18. Penny says on July 10 2009 at 9:03 am:

    After preparing the salsa, can I waterbath can?

  19. Kristin at The Kitchen Sink says on July 10 2009 at 12:07 pm:

    Penny: I have never canned anything in my life, believe it or not. Sorry I can’t be of more help.

  20. Lisa says on August 30 2009 at 10:26 am:

    Can this salsa be canned, or is it better fresh?

  21. Kristin at The Kitchen Sink says on August 30 2009 at 6:28 pm:

    Lisa: I haven’t tried canning this recipe. You can certainly make it and store in the fridge for a few days in an airtight container. Beyond that, I’m afraid I’m not much help.

  22. TK says on October 01 2009 at 7:17 pm:

    Canning recipes have very specific proportions of ingredients… especially anything canned with tomatoes. I would search for a recipe geared towards canning.

    I can’t wait to try it fresh! Thanks!

  23. Wendy says on October 02 2009 at 8:33 pm:

    Can you “hot water bath” process this roasted salsa?

  24. rhonda goforth says on August 05 2010 at 8:40 am:

    great recipe!! thank you very much….

  25. Donna S says on August 06 2010 at 9:09 am:

    For all those wondering about canning. I think it would be find. Be sure to do the following:

    Add 2 TBS lemon juice to raise the acidity so it’s safe for canning.
    Can immediately after running through the food processor. So the salsa is still hot.
    Process the jar for 45 minutes.

    I’d like to know if roasting the onions would be a good idea too? I see that you add them in raw.

    I’m glad I found this post I’m doing a series next week on my blog all about preserving tomatoes with new recipes/different recipes. I’ll link back to your post!

  26. Deborah J says on August 06 2010 at 6:55 pm:

    I will be trying this recipe tomorrow but will be using regular tomatoes since I did not grow any roma tomatoes.

    Glad to hear that there is information from Donna S regarding canning since I will be trying that also.

  27. heidi says on August 14 2010 at 12:06 pm:

    Hi all-
    I am back for my 2nd year of this recipe. Its wonderful and I canned it and we enjoyed it all year. I am going to do smaller batches so the AC can keep up this year! It get a little tricky with the hot stuff in the blender, the hot jars on the stove and the water bath canner going, but OH SO WORTH IT! Process pint jars for 15 min in water bath.

  28. Saving the Summer – Salsa says on August 16 2010 at 8:19 am:

    [...] from The Kitchen Sink Recipes [...]

  29. Kim says on September 19 2010 at 9:41 am:

    I just came across your recipe and I can’t wait to try it…its canning season and I am putting up peaches and apples right now…what do you think about canning this salsa? Would I need to change anything about the process of how it is made and the ingredients that go into it?

  30. Kim says on September 19 2010 at 10:24 am:

    Oh I guess I should read through the comments before I just start rambling!! I seen that so many have mentioned canning. Donna said add lemon juice and process for 45 min and Heidi said only 15 min…what should I do???

  31. Jena says on May 07 2011 at 8:18 am:

    I am going to make this today with the addition of mango. I think I will roast half the mango and leave the other half fresh along with one fresh tomato and 1/4 fresh red onion. Thanks for the jumping off point!

  32. Dale says on August 28 2011 at 8:27 am:

    Can this be done with grape tomatoes. I have a ton and don’t know what to do with them. Help!

  33. Kristin at The Kitchen Sink says on August 28 2011 at 9:21 am:

    Dale: I think that would work well! Hope you give this a try.

  34. leah says on May 29 2012 at 11:42 am:

    can you use this recipe for canning?

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