If you’re on the hunt for a delightful, homemade roasted tomato salsa that perfectly complements your tortilla chips or tacos, you’re in the right place. Today, I’m thrilled to share my recipe for this traditional Mexican sauce, rich with the flavours of roasted tomatoes and chilli.
This Roasted Tomato Salsa is made from easily accessible ingredients, this recipe not only offers versatility—allowing you to opt for any chili variety on hand—but also serves as a healthy snack option and a vegetarian treat. By incorporating bell peppers, you can enhance the salsa’s body and adjust its heat level to suit your preference. For this batch, I used a generic chili, achieving the perfect spice level for my palate. Dive into this recipe, prepare swiftly, and savour the authentic Mexican culinary experience!
- Healthy Snack Option: With fresh ingredients and no preservatives, this homemade salsa is both tasty and good for you.
- Versatility: Whether you’re looking for a spicy dip, a salsa with coriander, or a vegetarian dip, this recipe is adaptable to suit your needs.
- Authenticity: Drawing from traditional Mexican flavours, this salsa brings the essence of Mexico right to your table.
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History of Mexican Salsa
“Salsa” translates to “sauce” in Spanish. In Mexico, it holds a pivotal place in the culinary spectrum. Historians think that indigenous groups in Mexico, including the Mayans, Aztecs, and Incas, crafted versions of salsa using tomatoes, chilies, and other native ingredients.
As the Spanish began colonizing the Americas in the 1500s, they brought with them new ingredients such as onions, garlic, and cilantro. Consequently, these ingredients merged with the native sauces, leading to the birth of the salsa we know today. Over time, salsa underwent evolution and diversification, drawing influences from a range of regional ingredients and culinary traditions.
Varieties of Salsa and Their Ingredients:
- Salsa Roja (Red Sauce): Start by soaking dried Ancho or Chipotle peppers. After this, blend them with roasted onions and garlic. Next, mix in lime juice, olive oil, cumin, coriander, and cilantro.
- Salsa Verde (Green Sauce): For this salsa, use tomatillos instead of tomatoes along with onions, garlic, Jalapenos, and lime juice. After roasting or grilling these ingredients, blend them together.
- Pico de Gallo (also known as Salsa Fresca): This refreshing sauce doesn’t need any cooking. Simply blend or finely dice fresh tomatoes, onions, Serranos or Jalapenos, cilantro, lime juice, and salt.
- Salsa de Aguacate (Avocado Salsa): Create this salsa by blending fresh ingredients like shallots, garlic, poblanos, lime juice, water, cilantro, and cumin. Then, season it to taste with salt. It’s perfect as a salad dressing.
- Thai Mango Salsa: Craft this unique salsa by combining diced red onions, mango, red bell peppers, and finely diced Thai red chilli’s. To season, add Thai basil, cilantro, fish sauce, and soy sauce.
Across Mexico, different regions boast their own unique salsa twists, often shaped by available local ingredients and traditions. Moreover, the spiciness spectrum of these salsas can be vast, hinging on the type and quantity of chilies incorporated.
Recipe for Roasted Tomato Salsa (Salsa Asada):
Roasted Tomato Salsa Recipe (Salsa Asada)
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- 5 Red Chilli - tops removed
- 5 Green Chilli - tops removed
- 3 Red Bell Peppers - tops and seeds removed
- 4 Ripe Tomatoes - cut into halves
- 4 Red Onions - peeled, cut into quarters
- 20 Garlic Cloves - peeled
- 1 tbsp Coriander Seeds
- 1 tbsp Ground Cumin
- 1 tsp Black Pepper
- 1 Bunch of Fresh Coriander
- 2 Limes, juice only
- ¼ cup White Wine Vinegar - (60ml)
- Salt to taste
- ¼ cup Pickle juice or Water - (I used leftover Jalapeno pickle juice)
- Preheat the oven to 460°F (240°C). Tray up the prepared chilies, bell peppers, tomatoes, red onions, garlic cloves, and coriander seeds, ensuring they are spread out in a single layer. Roast in the oven for about 15-20 minutes until the vegetables char and soften. When ready remove from the oven to cool down for 20 minutes.
- When the vegetables have cooled down a bit, transfer them to a pot or food processor. Add ground coriander, ground cumin, black pepper, fresh coriander, lime juice, white wine vinegar, and salt to taste. Blend the mix until you achieve a slightly chunky salsa consistency. If the mixture feels too thick, you can thin it out with some pickle juice or water.
- After blending, give the salsa a taste. Adjust the seasoning if needed, perhaps adding more salt, lime juice, or pickle juice depending on your preference.
- Once satisfied with the flavours, transfer the salsa to a jar or bowl and let it chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour. This resting period allows the flavours to meld beautifully. When ready, serve your salsa chilled, pairing it with tortilla chips, tacos, or any dish that calls for a burst of flavour. Remember, using jalapeño pickle juice can add an extra tangy kick to your salsa, but if you don't have it on hand, water or other pickle juice works just fine.
- Storage: Store any leftover salsa in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It typically stays fresh for up to a week. You can also consider freezing the salsa for longer storage, but the texture might change slightly upon thawing.
- Variations: This recipe is flexible. Feel free to experiment with different vegetables or spices. For instance, adding roasted corn or black beans can give an added texture and flavour to the salsa.
- Serving Suggestions: This salsa pairs wonderfully with tortilla chips, tacos, grilled meats, and even as a topping on salads or baked potatoes.
- Heat Level: The spiciness of the salsa can vary based on the heat of the chilies you use. If you prefer a milder flavour, you can deseed the chilies before roasting. On the other hand, for a spicier kick, consider adding more or different variety of chilli’s.
From the Chef Lukasz
I’m excited you’ve decided to dive into the flavourful journey of Salsa with my recipe! This sauce, deeply rooted in Mexican culture and heritage, is incredibly versatile to suit personal tastes. Have you added your personal touch? Perhaps an extra dash of spices or a combination of distinct ingredients that tantalize your palate?