Roasted Jalapeño-Tomato Salsa with Cilantro

7/13/2019 – This turned out great and will surely be a favorite. It was a surely a blessed dish being prepared for the first time on Tom’s birthday. Inspired by the recipe here.

This is our salsa closest to the classic home-style Mexican salsa de molcajete that’s made from roasted garlic and chiles pounded in a lava-rock mortar (molcajete) with roasted tomatoes. 

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INGREDIENTS

  • About 20 medium slicing tomatoes from our garden trimmed
  • 6 fresh jalapeños from our garden, stemmed and sliced in half
  • 2 average white onions, sliced 1/4-1/2 inch thick and separated into thick rings
  • 1-1/2 garlic pods with the tops trimmed
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped fresh cilantro, loosely packed
  • two generous pinches of salt
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

PREPARATION

  1. Heated our broiler on low. Lay the whole tomatoes and jalapeños out on a baking sheet. Set the pan 4 inches below the broiler and broil for about 6 minutes, until darkly roasted — even blackened in spots after Mary turned it up to high — on one side (the tomato skins will split and curl in places). With a pair of tongs, flip over the tomatoes and chiles and roast the other side for another 6 minutes or so. The goal is not simply to char the tomatoes and chiles but to cook them through while developing nice, roasty flavors. Set aside to cool.
  2. For this first cook, we used fresh slicing tomatoes from our garden. As slicing tomatoes have a lot of liquid, compared to paste tomatoes, we put 2-3 in the large wire basket strainer and drained the juice into a SS bowl for later use likely in a soup. We did this while the onions and garlic were roasting as described in the next step.
  3. Turn the oven down to 425 degrees. Separate the onions into rings. On a similar pan or baking sheet, combine the onion and garlic, coated them lightly with olive oil. Roast in the oven, stirring carefully every couple of minutes, until the onions are wilted with a touch of char on some of the edges and the garlic is soft and browned in spots, about 15 minutes total. Cool to room temperature.
  4. Put the onions, jalapeno, and garlic into the processor and pulse a couple of times. Add the strained tomatoes and pulse a few more times. Add the chopped cilantro and pulse a few times.
  5. Taste and season with salt and lemon juice.

The original recipe had a different procedure for step 4 above. Their process is quoted below as it could be good to try.

For a little less rustic texture or if you’re canning the salsa, pull off the peels from the cooled tomatoes and cut out the “cores” where the stems were attached, working over your baking sheet so as not to waste any juices. In a food processor, pulse the jalapeños (no need to peel or seed them) with the onion and garlic until moderately finely chopped, scraping everything down with a spatula as needed to keep it all moving around. Scoop into a big bowl. Without washing the processor, coarsely puree the tomatoes — with all that juice that has accumulated around them — and add them to the bowl. Stir in enough water to give the salsa an easily spoonable consistency. Stir in the cilantro.

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