There are still so many tomatoes at the market, even though we’re well into Fall and winter is creeping up on us. I decided to take advantage of this in my first canning project ever. Pictured above is my first attempt at salsa. I had heard that it was easy and it was. Essentially you put tomatoes, onions, peppers, and garlic under the broiler until they start to blacken and then you blend them all together with cilantro, lime juice, cumin, salt, and pepper. It’s one tray, 15 minutes, and a food processor.
My first salsa wasn’t bad, but I didn’t cook the tomatoes long enough and I blended it too much, so it came out like a salsa fresca- bright, thin, and watery. It was tasty, but it wasn’t what I was going for. I tried again, this time scooping the seeds out of the tomatoes and using tomatillos to thicken it. I also broiled the tomatoes longer and used a lot more garlic. It was better. In fact, it was pretty darn good!
Roasted Garlic Salsa (makes 1 jar)
- 4 tomatoes, halved with seeds removed
- 3 large or 4 small tomatillos, halved with husk removed
- 1 onion, peeled and quartered
- 6-8 large cloves of garlic, peeled
- lime juice
- salt & pepper
Place tomatoes, tomatillos, onion, and garlic on a tray under the broiler for 15-20 minutes until all vegetables are browned. Watch carefully and flip every 5 minutes or so to ensure even cooking. Remove garlic after 10 minutes if it looks as though it might burn. Place roasted ingredients in a food processor. Add cilantro, lime juice, cumin, and salt and pepper to taste. Pulse to blend. Be careful not to over-blend.
Broiling Note: My oven temp may be a bit lower than yours because broiling took a lot longer than I expected. Keep an eye on your oven so that you don’t smoke up your kitchen with burning onions or garlic!
Canning Note: This recipe only makes one jar of salsa, so canning it was a little bit silly. If you do intend to can your salsa, make sure you add enough lemon or lime juice to balance the pH. Here’s a helpful pdf on tomato canning safety.
Personal Note: You may have noticed that there aren’t any peppers in this recipe, even though they’re pictured above. You may have also noticed the glasses of water and milk in the bottom left corner of the collage above. Can you guess what happened? If so, I’m gonna tell you anyway. I wanted to add a jalapeño or two to my salsa, but the grocery store only had Sweet Italian Peppers and the oh-so-mysterious “Mixed Peppers” (pictured above). The sweet peppers weren’t what I was going for and I had no idea how hot the mixed peppers were, so I grabbed three and went on my way. After roasting them alongside my tomatoes, I figured I should taste the peppers to decide how many should go into the salsa. I cut off a tiny piece of one of them, about the size of a grain of rice, and popped it into my mouth. And then my mouth filled with fire. It kept hurting for hours. I immediately spit the pepper out, but I had to fill my mouth with icy cold water or milk for the next hour so that I wasn’t in constant pain. Needless to say, NONE of the peppers made it into the salsa and I’ve been a bit put off by spicy things since it happened.