Roast Tomato and Pepper Salsa

  I recently took a turn at making fresh salsa for the first time.  Why, oh, why did I wait this long to make my own salsa?  I’m embarrassed that I’ve been buying salsa all these years.  It takes nothing to make this stuff, and almost all the ingredients are in our current CSA box.  In the end I got a salsa that my husband described as “tasting like it was from a restaurant.”  That’s a pretty hearty compliment from a guy who doesn’t normally compliment the cook.

The salsa is incredibly easy.  On a baking sheet place the following:

2-3 good sized tomatoes or 4-5 smaller tomatoes

1 medium onion, quartered (our CSA box had two spring onions that were perfect for this)

3 cloves of garlic, still in the papers

2-3 jalapenos or whatever peppers you have harvesting at the time

Put the baking sheet under the broiler and broil the vegetables until the skin on the tomatoes and jalapenos starts to blister and char – that’s ok.  That’s flavor.  The onion and garlic will brown.  Don’t let the garlic burn, it will get bitter.  You might have to remove it a little earlier than the rest.  Rotate and turn the veggies as necessary to get an even char.

When the veggies are cooked to your liking, fire up the food processor or blender.  The tomatoes and onion go in whole.  Remove the garlic papers and add them.  The peppers will have to be treated according to your personal taste.  I deseeded and deveined mine which left the salsa with a nice heat but not a strong burn.  If you like to cry when you eat hot things, throw those peppers in there seeds and all.  Pulse until everything is chopped and blended.  Add the juice of one lime, a healthy pinch of salt, and about a quarter of a cup of cilantro.  Pulse again until the cilantro is chopped and combined.  There.  That’s it.  Fresh salsa in less than 15 minutes.  This recipe yielded about 1 1/2 cups for me, so I’ll be buying some tortilla chips to dispose of what we didn’t use for this meal.

Speaking of this meal, here’s what you see.  The side dish is just sliced summer squash sauteed in olive oil.  A pinch of salt and onto the plate.  It didn’t need anything else, the squash was so flavorful on its own.  The other item is a grilled chicken breast that is topped with about a tablespoon of melted mozzarella, a heaping helping of the salsa, and about a tablespoon of low fat sour cream.  If you’re watching your weight, this makes an extremely satisfying and extremely delicious dinner for very few calories.  Now if you’re a typical American and you’re looking at that chicken breast, you might be saying “Tiffany, where is the rest of it?  It’s teeny!”  Well, my Yankee Doodle Dandy, that is a 3 ounce chicken breast, which is the recommended size for a serving of meat.  Yes, eating that will leave you full and satisfied, especially when you combine it with the other fun and fresh veggies.  Enjoy this simple and tasty meal anytime you’ve got squash and tomatoes filling your baskets!

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