The Best Roasted Salsa
The best roasted salsa recipe doesn’t just come from the ingredients but also the method in which you incorporate the ingredients. The traditional way is to grind the ingredients in a stone bowl called a “Mocajete”. Using a mocajete keeps all the natural juices from the tomatoes and onions from air being whipped into the salsa making the salsa thicker and also loses the vibrant red color, which usually occurs from using a blender.
Salsa is sauce of choice on every taco that has a sauce. It’s the dip provided when tortilla chips are served. Ever been to a party where they serve chips but no salsa? I rest my case. And that is the reason why knowing how to make the best roasted salsa is the ace up anyones sleeve.
Tomatoes, use deep red roma tomatoes. Don’t use pale red or bruised roma tomatoes, they have no flavor when they aren’t ripe, and well when bruised, that’s usually a sign of over ripening. If you can’t find vibrant red roma tomatoes, then opt for vine ripen red tomatoes, the kind often used for sandwiches.
Onions, white onions are onion of choice in 90% of Mexican recipes. White onions are less pungent than its yellow and red varieties. There are some people who thing that yellow is less pungent that white but I guess that’s subjective. What I will say is white onions are used all over Mexico for salsas, tacos, grilling, sides, so I’ll just follow their lead.
Cilantro. Contrary to what others say, you can use the stems and it actually adds a little texture to your salsa. I always use 75/25 leaves to stems ratio to keep a good texture when making salsa, waste not want not!
Finally, there’s spice. Some use jalapeno, some use serrano peppers and there are those who don’t use any pepper for spice, to each their own. I prefer to use jalapeno because not everyone can handle heat and my spice tolerance is not exactly normal. Serranos are anywhere between 5-10 times hotter than a jalapeno, so if you know you’re making this for people who can’t handle the heat, be kind and use jalapenos or none at all.
How To Make The Best Roasted Salsa
Like I mentioned in the begining, the ingredients are only half of the secret to making amazing salsa. The key to making the best roasted salsa is how the ingredients are incorporated together.
How to make the best roasted salsa is to use a mocajete but it’s not like everyone has one at home. So the next best thing is the food processor and NOT the blender. Why you ask?
Don’t get me wrong, blenders are definitely used for other authentic Mexican salsas, but there are more from the very thin fluid salsas where a fine less chunky consistency is required.
Food processors cap off at around 1,700 rpms (revolutions per minute) while a blender usually starts around 17,000 rpms. So the food processor doesn’t even have a chance to whip the unnecessary air into the salsa to change the texture and color.
Roasting the tomatoes, onions, jalapeño, and garlic is also key in getting the perfect balance of flavors. The charred skin of the vegetables and the naturally sweet juices from searing veggies all plays a part. Don’t be affraid when you see a lot of charring, it’s a good thing.
Get ready for you to add this amazing salsa to almost everything eat!
The Best Roasted Salsa
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 lbs roma tomatoes
- 1 medium white onion
- 1-3 whole jalapeño
- ½ bunch cilantro, including about half stems
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 whole lime, juiced
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ cup water
- Pre-heat oven on low broil
- Half the tomatoes and jalapeño, quarter the onion and garlic cloves with the skin and on place on a baking sheet. Make sure that tomatoes and jalapeños are skin side up on the baking sheet.
- Lightly coat with oil, season with salt and broil for 4 minutes.
- Remove the garlic and then increase the heat to high broil and broil for 5 minutes.
- Remove the garlic skins and add all the ingredients into the food processor, including all the juices from the roasting pan.
- Pulse until the salsa is your prefered consistancy.