Grilled Salsa

by NICHOLAS AMMATURO on May 2nd, 2010

What is the most popular condiment in the United States? You would first assume its ketchup or mustard, but apparently over the last few years, salsa has been taking over the pantry. I heard this fact a few years ago and I can’t seem to find any current statistics that prove it, but for our purposes, lets assume its #1.

I enjoy the taste of jarred salsa, but nothing compares to fresh. It reminds me of going to a Mexican restaurant, sitting down and instead of bread at the table, there are chips & salsa. It’s their own unique blend, its their signature. Here is a chance to make your own. You can easily do this in the oven, but the grill creates a great charred flavor that the oven lacks.

Ingredients
  • 3lbs Roma tomatoes
  • 8 peeled garlic cloves
  • 1-2 peppers (serrano chile peppers or jalapenos)
  • 1 cup fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3 TBLS white vinegar
  • Kosher salt to taste

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Preheat the grill to high or your oven to high broil. If you are grilling these, then place the garlic cloves in aluminum foil and wrap tight. If you are using the oven, line a rimed baking sheet with foil and place tomatoes, peppers and garlic directly on the pan. For broiling, you are going to broil them for 5-10 minutes on 1 side, making sure to brown them slightly. Flip everything over and then continue broiling for another 5-10 minutes. Remove from the oven to let cool.

For the people that are grilling, place the tomatoes, peppers & garlic (wrapped in foil), directly on the grill.

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Close the grill and grill for 5-10 minutes until charred black. You will start to notice the skin is peeling off the tomatoes. Flip them over to continue grilling the other side. They should look like below.

DSC_0055 Remove them from the grill and let cool completely. Once cooled, peel the tomatoes. Cut off the tomato top to remove the core and make peeling easier. These tomatoes are juicy and will make a mess, I do them on a cutting board and make sure there are plenty of paper towels to soak up the juice. Sometimes I do these in a strainer to drain some of the juice, but its up to you. Peel the peppers and cut off the stem.

DSC_0111 Next, place the garlic, cilantro, peppers (seeds & all), sugar & white vinegar into a food processor. Finely chop everything up.

If you don’t have a food processor you can just mince up everything finely and you will have a chunkier salsa then one made with a food processor. Once these base ingredients are finely chopped,  add the peeled tomatoes and few handfuls of kosher salt and pulse everything together. I like to just pulse a few times, so that its chunky. You can mix it as much as you want if you prefer something more liquid.

View Adding the tomatoes

Make sure to taste for flavor and add salt as needed. Place the salsa in a container and then store in the fridge until ready to serve. You can serve immediately or store for up to 5 days.

After you taste this salsa, you may see why American’s voted salsa #1.

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