a fancier salsa

There was a time when I would go to my favorite mexican restaurant and wonder why their salsa was so damn delicious, but also so damn brown. For a long time I experimented with different ingredients thinking the color had something to do with a spice, but as usual I was wrong. Then I happened upon this recipe and ding ding ding – I found the secret to my favorite salsa.

All About Roasting

I’m not sure why I never thought of this, but charring the tomatoes and pepper is what makes this version of salsa so special. It also makes me feel a little like a cooking fraud. I mean come on, what self-respecting cook wouldn’t figure out that the carmel-y flavor and color is from roasting. Duh.

Lasts for Days

In addition to a phenomenal taste, the roasting also allows you to keep this salsa in the fridge a little longer than normal uncooked salsa. But, who am I kidding? I can usually polish off this salsa with an entire bag of tortilla chips over the course of Netflix binge. 

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  • Author: Jennifer Richmond
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes


Courtesy of: Amor y Tacos

By: Deborah Schneider



5 large Roma tomatoes

1 serrano or jalapeno chile

4 garlic cloves with skin on

¼ cup white onion, roughly chopped

1 teaspoon of salt, more to taste

½ bunch of cilantro


Place a piece of foil in a preferably cast-iron skillet and set it over medium high heat. Place the whole tomatoes, chili and garlic cloves in the pan and dry roast them on all sides until well charred and soft. The garlic and chiles will be done quickly, but the tomatoes may take up to 10 minutes or longer.

Peel the garlic and stem the chili. Place tomatoes, garlic and chili in a food processor with the rest of the ingredients. Pulse until the salsa is smooth and taste for seasoning. The salsa will keep, refrigerated, for several days.

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