It was–gulp–a month ago when I brought you a recipe for tomato sauce, at the end of which I mentioned something about a salsa recipe. When Claire, whose garden must be yielding up its last tomatoes, called last night for a recipe of the stuff, I knew it was about time that I got back around to sharing it with you all. Not to mention that my directions to poor Claire — “Go to the recipe page of the Splendid Table website, and look for the salsa recipe that Lynne Rossetto Kasper got from Rick Bayless that tells you to roast everything in the oven ahead of time” — were, shall we say, lacking in specificity.
This salsa — wow. It’s smoky and warm and spicy, and uses really simple ingredients. Roasting the tomatoes and garlic and peppers adds a nice depth and complexity, so that even if you’re just drinking beer and eating chips with this salsa, it seems a little bit special. The flavor develops a good deal after a few hours, so keep that in mind as you’re gearing up to make it.
Lynne/Rick’s recipe can be found here, with some serving suggestions. What follows is the Shana-fied version.
What you need:
- 2-3 pounds gorgeous tomatoes
- 2-3 bell peppers (I used red and green)
- 2 fresh jalapeño chiles
- 3 garlic cloves
- Salt, about a scant 1/2 teaspoon
- 1/2 small white onion, finely chopped — or 3-4 scallions
- A generous 1/3 cup loosely packed chopped cilantro
- Juice of 3 or so limes
1) Heat up the broiler. Lay the tomatoes on a baking sheet and roast under the broiler till blistered and blackened, about 5 minutes. Flip them over w/ tongs and do the same to the other side. Let cool, and slip off the skins, but save the juices.
2) When the tomatoes are done, broil the peppers and chiles. The peppers should take about 8-10 minutes on each side. Cool, and pull the stems of the peppers.
3) In a food processor or blender, grind the garlic, salt, and chiles. Add the tomatoes and peppers and pulse several times until you have a thick sauce. I don’t like a thin or smooth salsa myself, but if you do, you might want to process the salsa a bit longer, or add some water.
4) Stir in the lime juice, cilantro, and onion, but if you’re looking to make it a day or two in advance, leave this final step until you’re ready to serve.