As summer draws to a close and fall sets in, my tomatoes typically begin to come ripe in the basket-full!
I use lots of the fresh tomatoes in meals like sourdough pizza, zucchini pizza boats, and chunky salsa – but there is always more than we can use without preserving the tomatoes!
Some of my favourite ways to preserve tomatoes is by making spaghetti sauce, sun dried tomatoes or this fire roasted salsa recipe!
I often will make a couple of these recipes at the same time; in the photo above, I have a batch of tomato rounds in the dehydrator and the off-cut tops will be used for the fire roasted salsa.
That keeps my sun dried tomatoes in nice rounds, while the flesh left over from cutting the woody centre of the tomato out gets blended into the salsa.
Why is fire roasted salsa better than raw salsa?
Don’t get me wrong – I love a good Pico De Gallo (chunky salsa) on my fried tacos, but fire roasted salsa is much better for preserving because of its thick, even consistency.
Roasting the ingredients before blending them not only brings out the heat in the peppers, but it also enhances the flavour in the tomatoes and reduces the water content (no one wants watery salsa!)
PRO TIP: Using beefsteak tomatoes will also help achieve the desired consistency because they naturally have lower water content than other varieties of tomatoes.
Start by lining a large baking sheet with parchment paper and cover it with a layer of chopped tomatoes and onions, whole garlic cloves, and whole jalapeños and cayenne peppers.
Drizzle it with a bit of olive oil and mix well, then sprinkle a bit of salt to taste.
You don’t want the layer of veggies to be too deep or you won’t get the ideal results of an evenly roasted salsa.
Place the baking sheet on the top rack of a pre-heated oven, set on broil.
Watch your batch to make sure it doesn’t burn and flip once the peppers start to blister and the tomatoes start to brown.
This should only take a few minutes.
Once the other side of the peppers blister as well, remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow to cool.
Next, cut the stems off the peppers and add the roasted ingredients to the food processor, along with the cumin, fresh lemon juice, and cilantro.
Blend well and give it a taste test!
The beauty of making your own salsa is that you can decide just how mild or spicy you would like it to be; if it isn’t spicy enough for your taste, just add a bit of cayenne powder to kick it up a notch.
This recipe only makes about a pint, so you will need to roast multiple pans of veggies if you want to can large quantities of fire roasted salsa to use up the bounty from your tomato harvest.
If you just want a jar of fresh, homemade salsa to enjoy you’ll find this is the perfect size batch to whip up quickly!
Start to finish, this recipe only takes 15-20 minutes to make – including the roasting time!
2 cups tomato, chopped
1/2 white onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, whole
3 jalapeños , whole
2 cayenne peppers, whole
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon cilantro dried or 1 cup fresh
1/4 teaspoon cumin
Salt & pepper to taste
Drizzle olive oil on tomato, onion, garlic, jalapeño, and cayenne peppers – mix well.
Roast on a lined baking sheet in a pre-heated oven set to “broil” on the top rack.
Flip vegetables when the peppers start to blister.
Remove from oven when second side of peppers blister and allow to cool.
Cut pepper stems off and place all ingredients in food processor.
Add cayenne powder to reach desired spiciness, if it is not hot enough for your taste.
If canning the salsa, place in sanitized jars and process in hot water bath.
Serving size: 1 pint
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