Fire-roasted salsa

Salsas make me happy. Really good salsas with a kick make me really happy. This is one of those salsas that makes me really happy. Let it be known that our tastes for heat may differ from yours. Meaning: things with a slight kick are very palatable to me. But for some friends of mine it sets off a three-alarm fire in their mouth—as in people cursing my name for several days afterward.

Fire-roasting tomatoes adds such a great smoky dimension to salsas. When I first ate at a Baja Fresh restaurant in Los Angeles, I was mesmerized by their smoky salsa and how they made it. I never got the official recipe, but this is my spin on it.

6 Roma tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1 small white onion, quartered
1 clove garlic
1 jalapeño, roughly chopped
¼ cup (8 g) cilantro
1 dried New Mexico, chipotle, or guajillo chili pepper, rehydrated
~ juice of 1 lime

  1. Preheat oven broiler.
  2. Place the tomatoes on a foil-lined sheet pan, and broil to char the skins 13–15 minutes, then flip and char the other side for another 5 minutes.
  3. Combine tomatoes with all other ingredients in a food processor until well blended.

Tips & Tricks—You can make this salsa a day or two ahead from when you plan on serving/eating it, though I’m going to bet you’ll want to eat it sooner rather than later. The flavors really do meld together after a day or two of being in the refrigerator.