My husband and girls adore a good bowl of salsa. We buy Mi Cocina‘s stuff in quart-size containers, and it disappears speedily. So yesterday, I tried a new recipe for a homemade version. Twas mighty tasty, so I thought I’d share with y’all…
Roasted Tomato and Árbol Chile Salsa
Adapted from Food & Wine Magazine
- 5 plum tomatoes, cored and halved lengthwise (or 1 can fire-roasted tomatoes)
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 5 garlic cloves, peeled, and coarsely chopped
- 12 dried árbol chiles, stems discarded
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Preheat your broiler.
- Arrange the tomato halves cut side down on a rimmed sheet pan, and broil until the skins are charred and blistered, about 5 minutes.
- Turn the tomatoes over, and broil until charred in spots, about 5 minutes more. Discard the tomato skins.
- In a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.
- Add the chopped garlic, and cook until lightly golden, about 3 minutes. (Don’t let them get too brown as you will continue to cook them.)
- Add the árbol chiles to the skillet, and cook until slightly softened, about 3 minutes.
- Scrape the chiles, garlic, and oil into a food processor or blender. Add the water and pulse, scraping down the sides, until a chunky puree forms, about 2 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, cumin, and oregano and pulse until the texture is right for you.
- Season with salt to taste.
This recipe delivers a garlicky, hot, not-so-tomato-y salsa, which was muy delicioso. Consider the following variations to get the taste and texture you prefer:
- Double the tomatoes to make it sweeter and more tomato-y. I followed the original recipe — tasted it and loved it — but decided to add a can of fire-roasted tomatoes to get it closer to the kind of salsa we prefer. Bueno, bueno.
- Stir in a few tablespoons of chopped cilantro at the end. We didn’t have any, but it would be a great addition.
- If you prefer a less spicy salsa, consider reducing the number of chiles and/or deseeding the ones you use. I used all 12 and deseeded about half of them by cutting them in half and shaking the seeds out. The resulting concoction is a bit hot for my taste, but the family thinks it’s awesome.
A bit of chile trivia: The chile de árbol (Spanish for “tree chile”) is a Mexican pepper. It’s also referred to as the “bird’s beak chile” and the “rat’s tail chile”. I learned its heat index is between 15,000 and 30,000 Scoville units, compared to a jalapeno with a heat index of 3,500 – 8,000.
If you crave more, check out these other salsa recipes from the Important Media network:
Image Credit: rossination via flickr/CC