I am back after a long vacation and some tribulations en route. Back to this sweltering heat and a pitiless, cloudless sky. But the tomatoes are still good and that is nothing to sneeze at. I have been experimenting with Mexican food and am very taken with the idea of roasting/broiling vegetables briefly before incorporating them into a sauce or salsa. Although I prefer a fresh salsa for same-day consumption, this roasted gives you a mellow, deep flavored salsa, that lasts in the fridge for a couple days. It is ideal when you are having people over.
1-2 tbs. oil (optional)
4-5 medium sized vine-ripened tomatoes, cut into halves
4 small tomatillos, skins removed and throughly washed and halved
1/2 sweet onion (e.g., vidalia) crudely cut into large pieces
1/2 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
salt, lime, Hungarian sweet paprika, cumin powder: to taste
1. Start the broiler in your oven (I set mine to low). Move a rack close to the heating element.
2. Lightly oil the vegetables and sprinkle them generously with salt. You can omit the oil and go with just salt as well.
3. Broil for ~ 10 min, until the vegetables are just beginning to brown. Remove any vegetable from the oven if it starts to char too much.
4. Put the vegetables into a food processor and pulse till they meld together. Add, lime, paprika, cumin (start with 1/2 tsp of each). Then taste and adjust the salt.
5. Add cilantro and pulse the food processor briefly again.
Note: 1, Substitute cayenne for sweet paprika if you want to kick up the heat. Or, throw in half a seeded serrano or jalapeno, depending on you heat tolerance. Enjoy.
Note 2: If you cant find tomatillos, add a couple more tomatoes instead. This will also give you more intense red color.