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(Well, oven-roasted really. But it’s a gas oven, so I can pretend, right?)
We’ve got a cookout to go to in a few hours, and it’s HOT out. I mean, really really hot. Working on 90. And we’ve no air conditioner. Yep, that means we’re lazing about under every fan we’ve got, whimpering like sad puppies. Daytime cooking has ground to a halt. Salads and sandwiches are the order of the day, but I couldn’t handle the thought of showing up to this cookout empty handed or even with something out of a jar.
I love salsa. Acidic, full of pleasant heat, it is one of my favorite condiments. (The other being Sriracha.) I’d never tried to make it before, but I figured it would be something I could throw together after dark when the heat wasn’t so awful, and it’s something just about everyone with a soul likes. If I’d had more time I’d have made a green version and a fruit version too, but a girl can’t do everything!
- 8 tomatoes, sliced in half (Mine were about baseball sized.)
- 1 medium red onion, sliced in half
- 2 heads of garlic
- 1 lime
- 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 jalapeño peppers
- cilantro, to taste
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 tsp sugar
- olive oil
Believe me, this process is so simple you’ll wonder why you ever buy store bought salsa. Heat your oven first to about 375. Grab a couple of large baking sheets or baking dishes. Arrange your tomato halves, round end down, in one. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.
Take your heads of garlic, chop off the tops and place them in a square of aluminum foil. Add a glug of olive oil on top and seal them. Place them in your other dish. Add the onion halves, peppers and cut your lime in half and add that. (Roasting the lime with everything else was sort of an accident, but it turned it into a sort of lovely lime-goo that just fell into the salsa. And it smelled really good!)
Roast everything together until the skins on your tomatoes are peeling off and the edges of everything are starting to blacken a bit-at least thirty minutes. Take everything out and let it cool to room temp.
Chop your tomatoes and onions and place them in a large bowl. Squeeze out your limey-goo, being careful of seeds. Unwrap your lovely roasted garlic parcel and squeeze the cloves out of both heads of garlic into the bowl. Depending on how hot you like it, seed one, both or none of the peppers and dice them. Toss those in, but be careful with them. (Yeah, managed to not get aaaaanny on me except a little cut on my finger. Ugh. Wear gloves if you have them.)
Some of you probably hate cilantro. Some of you are fiends for it. Keep in mind the tastes of anyone else you might end up sharing it with, but go wild if you want to. Give your cilantro a rough chop and add it. Add your vinegar and sugar. Mix everything together and add it in batches to a blender for a short burst on the mix setting. You want some texture!
This will always taste better if you let it sit in the fridge overnight, so do that if you can. But it is absolutely tasty the second its done!
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