Try this Essential Roasted Tomato-Jalapeno Salsa Recipe as part of the menu for your next casual get-together.
1 pound (6 to 8) frozen or fresh plum tomatoes
2 large fresh jalapeno chiles
3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
Scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 small white onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup chopped cilantro, loosely packed
1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar (optional)
1. Line a griddle or heavy skillet with aluminum foil and heat over medium heat. Lay the tomatoes on the foil and roast, turning several times, until blistered, blackened and softened, about 10 minutes. Don't worry if the skins stick to the foil. Cool and peel off the skins, collecting all the juices with the tomatoes. While the tomatoes are roasting, heat another heavy skillet or griddle over medium heat. Add the chiles and garlic, and turn both occasionally until they are blackened in spots and soft (about 5 to 10 minutes for the chiles and 15 minutes for the garlic). Cool, pull off the stems on the chiles and peel the papery skins from the garlic.
2. In a food processor or blender, grind the chiles, garlic and salt into a coarse paste, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple of times. Add the tomatoes and pulse a few times for a coarse-textured puree. Transfer the salsa to a serving bowl and add the reserved tomato juices. In a strainer, rinse the chopped onions under running water, then stir the onions, along with the cilantro and optional vinegar, into the salsa. Add water if necessary to achieve a spoonable consistency. Taste and season with additional salt. Makes 2 cups.
— from Chef Rick Bayless
Doreen Howard is a freelance writer who specializes in stories on food and sustainable gardening.
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