As the last days of summer slowly slip by, there is probably a likelihood you have a shit ton of tomatoes left. You should do what I’m doing, and make up a batch of charred tomato salsa. It’s perfect with tortilla chips, but also to add to chili or to have with potatoes and eggs in the morning.
I didn’t grow any tomatoes this year (on account of having moved and all) but thankfully, my mom grew a ton. She’s a great tomato grower, and always grows more than she needs in order to provide me with some. I went up to her house last month and put up several jars of sauce and crushed tomatoes, then brought home a few boxes to put up this salsa. In fact, she’s driving down as I type, to visit me and also unload several more boxes of tomatoes.
For my salsa, I like to use an heirloom tomato variety called Heinz, which is a paste tomato. You can use almost any type. If you use a big juicy heirloom, you will have a much thinner salsa, so you might want to cook it down a bit to make it thicker.
This salsa recipe is easy to make up, but it does take some careful watch when using the broiler. Has there ever been an oven that broils evenly? I sure have never had one! For this charred tomato salsa, you want tomatoes that are evenly crispy, so turn your pan around as needed. It’s also easy for onions to go from charred to burnt, so keep an eye on it.
When prepping your tomatoes, it helps to cut the stem out. It doesn’t make a difference for the salsa its self, but when pulling the charred skin off the tomatoes, it often sticks where the stem is, and then you have to use your fingers or two spoons to pull it away it. Not hard, but when you have gazillion degree tomatoes and don’t want to wait for them to cool off to peel them, it makes things easier when the skin slides right off.
Roasting tomatoes to remove the skins is my favorite way. I need to do some research to figure out if I can do this and then can them whole for canned whole tomatoes. It’s way easier than blanching. Anyone know? But I digress….. Back to the charred tomato salsa!
I’m a total wimp when it comes to spice, so I usually make mine very mild. I’ve made this charred tomato recipe several years in a row, but each batch is always slightly different because of the chilis. Even if I add the same amount, some years it is spicier than others.
Not sure how to can? Check out my Introduction to Home Canning ebook and learn all the details! You can also freeze this salsa and it lasts quite a long time in the fridge.
- 10 pounds tomatoes, halved lengthwise and cores removed
- up to 16 oz jalapenos (I use only about 6 oz), stemmed and cut lengthwise
- 4 oz whole garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 lbs, 12 oz onions, peeled and cut into ~1" wedges
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons salt
- 4 Tablespoons sugar
- Set your oven rack about 4" below your broiler.
- Working in batches, set tomatoes (cut side down) in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Broil for about 10 minutes, or until the tomato skins are black and charred. Keep an eye on them and rotate pan if needed.
- Once cool enough to handle, pull the skins off the tomatoes and discard. Set the tomato flesh aside.
- Working in batches if needed, broil onions, jalapenos, and garlic on a sheet pan until there are bits that are charred and blackened.
- Working in batches, blend the veggie mixture and the tomatoes in a blender or food processor, to your desired consistency.
- Return to a large pot, then add the salt, sugar, and vinegar. Boil 5 minutes, then spoon into canning jars with a 1/2" head space. Process in a boiling water bath for 40 minutes.
If you want a spicier salsa, choose a hotter pepper. Do not use more than 16 oz. of chilis.
Depending on how watery your tomatoes are, the yield may vary. This recipe can easily be halved or doubled.
If you don't want to can this, it also freezes well.