This recipe is for our workhorse salsa. A rustic, roasted tomato and jalapeno salsa. At any given time, I have at least one jar of it sitting in my refrigerator.
We use it for everything from our morning eggs, to chips and dip, to carnitas tacos on the weekend.
There are a couple of things that I do and use to make this recipe easier.
First, when I’m roasting my peppers and tomatoes under the broiler, I use two quarter-sheet pans and put the tomatoes on one and the jalapenos on the other.
I do this because the tomatoes are taller and cook faster than the jalapenos since they are closer to the burner. I can rotate them earlier, and when they’re done, take them out earlier.
Instead of roasting the garlic, I just put it in a bowl with enough water to cover and microwave it for one minute. Microwaving it like this softens the garlic and takes the raw taste out. Roasting it is unnecessary.
If you have a smaller food processor, just process everything in batches, then mix it together in a mixing bowl.
If you find any pieces of tomato cores in the sauce, pull them out with a spoon and discard them.
Adjusting the Heat
The heat level in jalapenos can be highly unpredictable. They can be anywhere from just mildly spicy to screaming hot.
I’ve found that generally, the larger and brighter the pepper, the milder it is. They seem to be mildest in late spring and midsummer, then get hooter through the fall and winter, but that isn’t always the case. Sometimes veining on the outside of the pepper can be an indication of heat.
My recommendation is to sample a piece of one of your jalapenos after you roast them.
If it’s hot, you can seed and devein a few or all of the peppers. Remember, the spice lies primarily in the white veins and the seeds inside the pepper.
Just cut your peppers in half and scrape out the veins and seed pod, and it will tame them down a great deal.
I like mine very spicy, so I have more problems with not enough spice than too much. If you want to add extra heat, you can put a little cayenne or a couple of whole serrano peppers in there.
Just be sure to roast the serranos along with your jalapenos if you’re going to use them.
Roasted Tomato and Jalapeno Salsa
- 4 cloves garlic
- 8 medium jalapenos
- 1 tsp. Kosher salt
- 2 lbs. ripe tomatoes
- 1 cup white onion - finely chopped
- 2/3 cup cilantro - finely chopped
- Remove stems and core the tomatoes. Cook tomatoes and jalapenos under the broiler, turning once, until black.
- Peel garlic. Place in a small bowl with just enough water to cover and cook in the microwave one minute. Drain.
- Remove jalapeno stems (and seeds and veins if you want milder salsa). Blend tomatoes (do not remove the skins), jalapenos, garlic, and salt, in a food processor until it is a very rough puree. Pulsing a few times should be sufficient. If you don't have a food processor, you can crush everything together with a molcajete.
- Very finely chop the onion and cilantro, then thoroughly mix them into the tomato/jalapeno mixture. Add to jars and seal.