July 25, 2011

roasted tomato salsa

When we were in Chicago we went to Frontera Grill to celebrate my brother's graduation. We had heard lots of good things about Rick Bayless' restaurants so I was excited to try it out. I had a few hesitations, however. As an Arizona native living in San Diego, and having endless delicious Mexican restaurants at our finger tips, it's usually one of my rules to not have Mexican food in a city where there isn't a large Hispanic culture (i.e. Mexican restaurant in Rexburg, Idaho - no bueno). However, Chicago is a big city and Rick Bayless is a world-famous chef. It had to be good, right? Well, I wish I could report that it blew me away but it didn't. It was good but more expensive that I'm accustomed to paying for Mexican food and of course, I am loyal to Tia Rosa's so it's pretty hard for anything to reach that level by those standards.

The other day I saw this recipe for Rick Bayless' Rustic Roasted Tomato and Garlic Salsa and tried it. I'm confident it's the best salsa recipe I've probably ever had. It's so delicious! I did make a few of my own improvements because it needed a couple of tweaks. Try it and tell me what you think.
2 jalapeno chilies, washed and dried
2 cloves garlic (whole and unpeeled)
1/2 cup white onion, finely diced
1 (15 ounce) can fire-roasted tomatoes (no substitute!)
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1 lime, juiced
2 teaspoons honey

Heat a small pan over medium heat. Lay the jalapenos and garlic on pan and dry-roast until black in spots (about 15 minutes).

While the chilies and garlic are roasting, scoop the onion into a strainer and rinse under cold water.

Pull the stems off the chilies and cut open to remove most of the seeds (the more seeds the spicier it will be - I left a few to give it a little heat) and peel the skins of the garlic cloves. Scoop into a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add the can of tomatoes (including juice) and pulse again until you've reached a semi-chunky consistency. Add onions and cilantro and pulse a couple of times (not too much).

Pour into a bowl and stir in lime juice and honey. Season with kosher salt and pepper. Best served right away with tortilla chips.


  1. Have you tried Miguels (they are in Old Town, La Jolla and Cornado) I think they beat any mexican place here in AZ!

  2. I totally agree with your thoughts on Frontera Grill. We went for the first time back in June and it didn't measure up to my expectations. I can get just as good, if not better, Mexican other places in the city and pay a lot less!

  3. So, I made this last week and it was amazing and super simple. It didn't last 24 hours in my house. Definitely a keeper. This one's going int he Moleskine.

  4. I can't do spice so i used half of a roasted jalapeno. seriously a great salsa recipe!

  5. I can't handle spice so I only used half of the roasted jalapeno. this is seriously a great salsa recipe! saving it and will make it plenty more. I also used a blender instead of a food processor and it worked wonderfully


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