Salsa

Since I have a bumper crop of toma­toes com­ing in, I thought I’d do some­thing with some of them. Today I made some sal­sa.


Here’s the anno­tat­ed and illus­trat­ed recipe I fol­lowed (from Epicurious.com: The orig­i­nal recipe):

1 12 pounds ripe toma­toes (about 10 medi­um), prefer­ably plum
2 to 3 fresh jalapeño chiles (1 to 1 12 ounces), stemmed All I have for jalapeños is a jar of pick­led jalapeño rings
2 bell pep­pers (I used green and yel­low this time)
Half of a small white onion (2 ounces), sliced 14 inch thick This time I used a red onion
4 gar­lic cloves, peeled
14 cup water It’s plen­ty watery already, thanks
13 cup chopped fresh cilantro, loose­ly packed I found that all the cilantro did was make it taste soapy
1 gen­er­ous tea­spoon salt
1 12 tea­spoons cider vine­gar I find it doesn’t need the vine­gar

  1. Heat the broil­er. Lay the whole toma­toes and jalapeños out on a broil­er pan or bak­ing sheet. Set the pan 4 inch­es below the broil­er and broil for about 6 min­utes, until dark­ly roast­ed — even black­ened in spots — on one side (the toma­to skins will split and curll 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.
    Since I’m using pick­led jalapeño rings, I just add them in the last minute of broil­ing.
    Roasted tomatoes and peppers
  2. Turn the oven down to 425 degrees. Sep­a­rate the onions into rings. On a sim­i­lar pan or bak­ing sheet, com­bine the onion and gar­lic. Roast in the oven, stir­ring care­ful­ly every cou­ple of min­utes, until the onions are beau­ti­ful­ly browned and wilt­ed (even have 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.
    Again, since the gar­lic is pre-chopped, not cloves, I added it in the last cou­ple min­utes.
    Onions and garlic
  3. 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.

    Puréeing the peppers and onions

    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.

    Puréeing the tomatoes

    Stir in enough water to give the sal­sa an eas­i­ly spoon­able con­sis­ten­cy. Stir in the cilantro.

    All mixed together

  4. Taste and sea­son with salt and vine­gar, remem­ber­ing that this condi­ment should be a lit­tle fiesty in its sea­son­ing. If you’re plan­ning to use your sal­sa right away, sim­ply pour it into a bowl and it’s ready, or refrig­er­ate it cov­ered and use with­in 5 days.

    The First Taste