We had a bbq with the neighbors over the weekend and I wanted to serve an appetizer. Guacamole immediately came to mind – it’s one of those foods that I know I can’t mess up. Still, as tasty as chips and guacamole can be, the whole thing just seemed incomplete without a bit of salsa.
I’ve never had much luck with salsa. It seems like it should be easy enough – tomato, lime, cilantro, onion. But someone I never get the proportions quite right. But still, salsa was calling my name. I even had a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and Hatch chopped tomatillos in my cupboard, recent imports from the USA. So I gave it a go and – what a relief – the salsa was delicious! Spicy, smokey and a little bit sweet. My neighbors said I should “bottle it” which made me feel warm and fuzzy on the inside. I can’t wait to use the leftovers with some tofu breakfast tacos!
I worked off of this recipe on recipezaar, substituting canned tomatoes for fresh and adding one fresh tomato at the end (I won’t do this next time – but it seemed necessary because the salsa was WAY too hot). The roasted tomatoes and garlic really make this salsa shine, plus the smokiness of the chipotles of course. I want to try this next time with fresh tomatoes, so I can get a bit of charred skin in there.
Word of advice: start with one chipotle chile then work your way up until the desired level of heat is achieved.
Chipotle Tomatillo Salsa
1 14oz can plum tomatoes
2 Tbsp olive oil
5 cloves garlic, skins intact
1/2 sweet onion, roughly chopped
3 canned chipotle chiles
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
a small pinch of sugar
a good pinch of salt
1 large tomato, finely chopped
juice from one wedge of lime
Preheat the oven to 200C / 390F.
Pour the olive oil into a baking tray. Add the tomatillos, plum tomatoes and garlic cloves. Roast in the oven for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is soft and the tomato juices have reduced a bit.
Peel the garlic and add that and the tomato mix to a blender or food processor, along with the onion, chipotle chiles, cilantro, sugar and salt. Pulse a few times until the salsa is fairly smooth. Poor the mix into a bowl.
Add the fresh tomato and lime juice. Taste and add more salt if necessary.
Let the salsa refrigerate for at least an hour or two to really let the flavors blend.