I eat a lot of salsa. A LOT. I am rather notorious for this, in fact. My friend’s boyfriend once innocently asked if I had anything he could snack on — maybe some chips and salsa? My friend nearly fell on the floor laughing at the thought of me not having chips and salsa in the house. There is no risk of that. Ever.
So when my awesome world-traveling chef cousin came to town for a few days, she offered to teach me how to make roasted red salsa and tamales. Can you imagine how much I hesitated? Not. At. All.
And people, this salsa. PEOPLE. With a lifetime of tasting, sampling, and gorging research on salsa, I have never in my life had salsa this good.
Note that this makes a lot — a big mixing bowl full. I’m too embarrassed to tell you how quickly it went here. Without further ado, I give you: The Best Salsa Ever:
Salsa roja (roasted red salsa)
- 16 full size tomatoes, or nearly a grocery store produce bag full of roma tomatoes (we used roma)
- 2-3 yellow onions
- 20-25 Serrano peppers (remove caps) Note: this many peppers makes it hot. Feel free to reduce number of peppers, or scrape the seeds and membranes out of them
- 8-10 cloves of garlic
- 1-2 Tbsp salt
- 1-2 bunches cilantro
- Halve the tomatoes and onions and lay cut-side up on a cookie sheet along with the peppers and garlic
- Roast at 375 till the onions look nice and translucent, tomatoes look soft, and peppers are getting a nice char on them
- Let it all cool a bit, then run through the food processor with salt and cilantro (we had to do this in two batches)
- Stir it all together and eat with abandon. Trust me.
Got questions? Notes from The Cousin:
It’ll last at least a week in the fridge in a tupperware-type container, although it’ll rarely stay around that long. You could potentially freeze some if you wanted to store it for longer (then defrost it in the fridge), but really, it is at its best when it’s still hot from roasting!
Varies a lot based on personal taste (OPK & I both have high tolerances, apparently. Runs in the Family?) and individual peppers. Sometimes you’ll get a batch of extra hot peppers where even OPK & I would be tearing up (doubtful, though!) and other times you might as well have used bell peppers.
If you are very sensitive to spice, cut the seeds out and just use the meat of the pepper. Also, roasting the peppers longer will bring out the sugars in the peppers which will make it less firey. Use fewer peppers if you’re wary.
You can definitely do this on a grill instead of the oven, in fact, that is my prefered method. I typically roast the onions until they’re translucent, the garlic until it’s browned (not too black), and the tomatoes and peppers until the skins are mostly blackened.
A note on canning:
There has been much discussion of canning this salsa (see comments). Unfortunately I’m not a canning expert, but there are specific acidity requirements for water-bath canning, and I have no idea if this recipe meets those requirements. Pressure canning, however, sounds like a great idea. Has anyone tried it?