Fresh Tomato and Roasted Garlic Salsa

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Fresh Tomato and Roasted Garlic Salsa

I have a potted jalapeno plant out on the patio – despite my neglect, this plant has produced so many jalapenos that I don’t know what to do with them.  So this week, I decided to try to make recipes to use them up – and I was craving chips and salsa.  I had plenty of tortilla chips in the cupboard, but no salsa!  Salsa is actually quite easy to make at home – and you can get a really authentic and flavorful salsa by using fresh ingredients.

To mellow the heat of the jalapenos, and to add a bit of flavor – I roasted the tomatoes, jalapenos, and garlic under the broiler for a few minutes.  If you like a spicy salsa, then keep the seeds and membranes, and consider roasting only 2 of the jalapenos – adding the other 2 jalapenos raw to the salsa will keep more of the heat.  If you want your salsa more on the mild side, then remove the seeds and membranes from your jalapenos before roasting, and maybe only use 2 of them.

My roasting method was pretty quick (more of a quick broil) – but you can do a slower roast if you prefer a more mellow flavor from the garlic (try about 20 minutes at 400 degrees, instead of 4 minutes under the broiler).  Be careful not to burn the garlic – but if you get a bit of char on the garlic, that’s ok – just cut those parts away and discard.

Roasted Garlic Salsa (Makes about 2 cups):

Use whole jalapenos (seeds and membranes) for a hot/spicy salsa, discard the seeds//membranes for a milder salsa.

  • 16 oz. (1 lb.) fresh tomatoes
  • 2-4 large Jalapeno peppers
  • 5-8 cloves garlic
  • 1. T. olive oil
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp. salt
  • black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced

1.  Adjust your oven rack to be directly under the broiler, and turn on your broiler to preheat.  Slice your jalapeno peppers in half.  If you want more mild salsa, remove the seeds and membranes and use only 2 jalapenos.  If you prefer spicier/more medium salsa, leave the seeds and membranes intact and use 4 jalapenos.  To make the salsa even more spicy, roast only 2 of the jalapenos (with seeds and membranes intact) – then add 2 diced fresh jalapenos to the food processor in step 9.  (Roasting mellows some of the spicy “heat” from the jalapeno, as does removing the seeds and membranes – so keep that in mind, and adjust the heat to your liking.)

2.  Cut your tomatoes in half and place on a non-stick foil lined baking sheet, along with the jalapenos (cut side down).  Place the peeled garlic on the foil sheet also.  (Some of my garlic cloves were on the smaller side, so I used a little bit more.)

3.  Drizzle the garlic cloves with the olive oil.

4.  Broil your tomatoes, jalapenos, and garlic for 2 minutes.  (It’s ok if the tomato skin or jalapeno skin gets black, but be careful not to burn the garlic.)

5.  Flip the tomatoes and garlic over (leave the jalapenos cut side down), and broil another 1-2 minutes.  (Make sure you are watching so the garlic doesn’t burn.)

6.  Remove the sheet from the oven and allow everything to cool down so that you can handle it without burning your fingers.  Peel the burnt skin from the tomatoes, and scrape the burnt skin off the jalapenos.  If your garlic has any burnt or black edges, cut those off and discard.

7.  Mince the jalapenos and garlic, and set aside with the tomatoes in a small prep bowl.  (You can squeeze the seeds and a little bit of the liquid out of the tomatoes at this point, if desired.  This will improve the texture of your salsa so that it isn’t too watery.  Drain away any excess liquid that collects in the bottom of your bowl.)

8.  Remove the leaves from 1 bunch of cilantro, discard the stems.  Roughly chop the cilantro.

9.  In the workbowl of a food processor, pulse the tomatoes, jalapenos, garlic, diced red onion, lime juice, and 1/2 tsp. salt until the texture looks smooth (5-10 seconds).

10.  Add the cilantro, and pulse for about 3 seconds.

11.  Taste the mixture, and add more salt if needed, a few grinds of black pepper, and the cumin. Pulse 1 second to combine.  (You can always add more salt, pepper, or cumin if needed.  If your tomatoes are really acidic, you can also add a pinch of sugar to mellow it out.)

12.  Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving to allow the flavors to meld.  Serve!

 

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