With real tomatoes now making an appearance in the area farmers’s markets, I take advantage of using them in as many ways as I can. Salsa is a natural. A popular way to make salsa at home is more of a raw, pico de gallo style that involves buzzing up fresh tomatoes, chiles, onion, garlic and cilantro. This salsa is great, as long as it is eaten within an hour or so of making it, otherwise it gets watery and lifeless. I am also not a big fan of raw garlic–it tends to overpower.
I have found that grilling the ingredients adds smokiness and depth to salsa, as well as making it more versatile because it can be stored for a few days in the refrigerator and used for more than chips. This recipe is my own, however its roots go back to the book on how I learned to cook all things Mexican; Mexican Kitchen by Rick Bayless.
Grilled Tomato and Jalapeño salsa
About 1 pound fresh tomatoes, I used a mix of varieties from the farmers market
1 small white onion, cut into 3 to 4 1/2 inch slices
2 Jalapeño peppers
3 large cloves garlic, wrapped in foil
salt to taste
Heat a grill to high and place the tomatoes, chiles, onion slices and the garlic wrapped in foil directly on the grates. Allow the vegetables to blacken in spots, turning occasionally. When the ingedients are blackened, and the tomatoes are loosing thier skins and bubbling, remove from the grill. Allow to cool slightly, and remove part of the skins and stem end from the tomatoes and chiles. I just remove the part of the skins that come off with my fingers, I do not fuss too much with it. Remove the garlic from the foil and remove the outer skins. The garlic should also be black in spots.
Place all the ingredients in a food processor, add a generous pinch of salt, and puree.
Taste, and adjust with more salt if necessary. The salsa will store in a glass jar for a few days in the fridge