Spicy Roasted Tomato Salsa

I’m one of those people who prefers dark, roasted salsas instead of the raw pico de gallo styles. Actually my whole extended family has an aversion to the flavor of raw tomatoes. This spicy roasted tomato salsa is right up my alley, with complex flavor and enough heat to keep it interesting. In summer we go through so much salsa, for countless taco nights, breakfast burritos, or just chips & salsa after work. I have been using up my bounty of organic cherry tomatoes from my friend’s farm (The Vegetable Patch Reedley) in a variety of ways: Congolese Romaine Stew, Marcella Hazan’s tomato sauce, stuffed summer squash, and now today it’s roasted salsa.

The salsa is inspired by one of the salsas in the Guerilla Tacos Cookbook, which you should have on your shelf at least for the 25 homemade salsa recipes, let alone the brilliant taco inspirations. Most of the recipes are vegetarian. This salsa is dark & spicy, almost jam-like. You can adjust the amount of heat or brightness by flexing the chilies and vinegar.

spicy roasted tomato salsa

4 Roma tomatoes or 12 cherry tomatoes

1/2 onion

1 serrano chile, stemmed

1 jalapeno chile, stemmed

6 garlic cloves, peeled

2-3 tablespoons white vinegar, to taste

1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt, to taste


Heat a cast iron skillet on medium heat. Put the whole tomatoes on the hot pan and let them sear until black on one side. Then use tongs or chopsticks to rotate them, blackening on all sides. After about 5 minutes, add the onion, chilies, and garlic. Let all ingredients turn black on all sides, rotating along the way. If the garlic and chilies are ready sooner, remove and let the tomatoes and onion continue to blacken. Don’t be afraid of letting the tomatoes blacken and weep.

In a food processor, combine the roasted tomatoes, chilies, onion, garlic and vinegar. Adjust vinegar to taste. Season with salt to taste. Enjoy.

you may also like…

Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce
Congolese Romaine Lettuce Stew with Peanut Sauce
Julia Child’s Mediterranean Tomato Rice Soup with Basil and Leeks

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