When you make your first batch of salsa with the freshest of ingredients, store-bought will just seem downright wrong! And when you lay the ingredients out on a baking pan and give it a minute or 2, or 3 or 4 under the broiler – you’ll be making it for the neighbours! Whether you start with fresh tomatoes (and only use fresh, if they are!) or canned – this is first base in salsa making. What you do from there is completely up to you – which is what usually happens when we find ourselves on first base!
The only rule, if there even is one, is the ingredients should be relatively the same size. Dice the big stuff – tomatoes, onions, peppers, avocado, pineapple, mango, apple; chop the smaller stuff – garlic, olives, grape tomatoes, cilantro, parsley, scallions; and toss in the stuff that’s ready to go – corn, peas, beans, lentils, capers, raisins – the ingredient list, (regardless of size), is pretty much endless. It’s all endless – what’s in it to where you use it – could there be a better way to get your 5-10 a day? I’ve turned salsa into dinner – add some diced chicken or baby shrimp, serve it with pita bread or crostini and winner, winner salsa dinner! Your kids will think you’ve lost your mind, (mine know I have) and to quote Mark Twain – of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most!
1. Crack the black beans, drain & rinse, put them in a large bowl and set aside.
2. Put the frozen corn in a colander to defrost and drain – rinse the jalapeños, if using.
3. Prep the peppers & tomatoes and place under the broiler.
4. Get the corn, onions & jalapeños ready to follow.
5. Peppers & tomatoes are nice and roasty toasty – allow to cool before peeling the peppers.
6. The next pan is done when the corn looks like summer!
7. Again, allow the peppers to cool before peeling.
8. They cooled, I peeled.
9. And chopped.
10. And put all the roasted elements in the bowl with the black beans.
11. Get the lime zested and juiced.
12. And add it over the salsa mixture along with a swirl of olive oil and salt to taste. Chop up a little cilantro if you want to go there.
yield 3-4 cups of salsa
1. Preheat broiler. Layer the following on 1-2 baking pans, depending on how much you’re making and roast under the broiler until charred:
- 2-4 tomatoes, cut into chunks
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 2-3 jalapeño peppers, whole
- 1 red pepper, quartered
- 1-2 cups corn, defrosted and drained
2. Remove baking pans from the oven and allow to cool. In the meantime prep the following:
- 1-2 limes, zest & juice
- 2 garlic loves, minced
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- healthy glug of olive oil
3. When the roasted vegetables are cool enough to handle – peel the peppers, dice and add to the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl. Get the following organized:
saved by salsa
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- serve it hot or cold
- prep a bowl of lettuce and stir in a couple of cups for an instant salad
- use in tacos, burritos, enchiladas or sandwiches
- use sturdy endive leaves and serve with salsa
- add a little sweet with honey, maple syrup or blue agave
- finish with a handful of diced fruit: mango, pineapple, apple, citrus, papaya, banana – it goes brilliantly with the salty heat
- add baby shrimp or diced cooked chicken