A hint or hit of Mexico: Smokey Tomato Salsa

Enjoy fiery hot heat or just a hint of heat of Mexico in this delicious smokey tomato salsa …
Smokey Tomato Salsa
Mexican food has a lot of staple dishes that are then used in lots of different meals – refried beans, salsa, tortillas….  This is a smoky tomato salsa which can be as mild or as hot as you wish.  Only use 1 hot chilli for a hint of heat and all three including the seeds if you are a chilli-head.  This salsa keeps well in the fridge and can be used as a side to corn chips or a topping on quesadilla, tortilla, burritos – use it as the Mexican equivalent of tomato sauce.
Smokey Tomato Salsa

Smokey Tomato Salsa

2-3 hot red chilli peppers such as seranos or jalapenos
6-8 large roma tomatoes
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
1 T lime or lemon infused olive oil
½ – 1 cup fresh coriander
1 ½ t salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF.
Line a baking tray with foil then place chillis on the tray – roast for 10-15 minutes, turning each five minutes, until the skins are blistered.  Remove chillies from the oven and place on a plate.  Cover with a clean cloth and set aside to cool.
Reduce oven temperature to 150ºC/300ºF.
Halve tomatoes and place in a shallow roasting tray, cut side up.  Roast tomatoes until they are soft and fragrant – ½ hour to one hour.
While tomatoes are cooking, carefully remove the skin, stems and seeds from the chillis – use disposable gloves or tongs as the capsaicin in the chillis will burn your skin.  Discard all the skin and stems (retain the seeds if you want to ramp up the heat factor). Roughly chop the chilli flesh.
Once tomatoes are cooked, remove from the oven and when cool enough to handle remove and discard skins, seeds and juice. Roughly chop the tomato flesh.
Top, tail and peel the onion then place in a bowl of cold water for 30 minutes. This is optional but takes some of the bite out of brown onions.  If you have access to white onions, then use them instead.
Dry onion and finely chop.  Peel and crush garlic cloves.
Heat olive oil in a heavy-based frying pan.  Add onion and garlic cloves and fry for a few minutes – they just need a brief touch of heat but not enough to colour them.  Remove from heat and add the tomato and chilli flesh (including the chilli seeds if desired).
Roughly chop coriander leaves and add to salsa then season to taste.
Cover with plastic wrap and chill to allow the flavours to meld together.

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