The secret to excellent salsa

We're making salsa today!! Actually, we MADE salsa since we're done and all that's left is to jar it up. It's cooking down right now.

I would be remiss in not sharing our salsa recipe with you guys. This is Trish's recipe so I'm going on memory here:

Cherokee Purple tomatoes (around 2 gallons after they are skinned, seeded and chopped) (You can substitute for an inferior tomato if you want, but I wouldn't recommend that.)

Bell peppers
Habanaro peppers (around 1/5 of a pound)
carrots (yes, carrots!)
Cilantro (fresh please)

Now, HERE IS THE SECRET! Take these veggies, core the peppers and julian the carrots (peel and cut in 4 long strips). Leave everything else whole.

Go outside and in your charcoal grill, build a big fire with liveoak or other hardwood. Let the fire get good and hot and then add some wet or green wood for smoke. Then roast every single item that goes into the salsa. Roast it all for several minutes each. Then peel the tomatoes (they'll be easy at that point). Chop everything up and throw it in a big pot and boil over high heat on the stove until it's cooked down to the consistency you like.

Use a hand-held blender to really puree if you want. Also add canned tomato sauce or paste to taste.

The oak fire gives the salsa a character that you'll never believe until you try. And, once you try this method, you'll never go back!



Brewers, KY(Zone 6b)

oh my gosh, that has to be WONDERFUL!

Bethelridge, KY(Zone 6a)

Guess I gotta save my CP tomatoes, I only got 3 plants! Now this looks like a recipe for salsa!

It is indeed! The smoke gives it a character that is really too good to believe. The salsa comes alive with flavour, intensity and character. Make sure there's a LOT of smoke coming off the grill and be ready to continue to smell like smoke for several hours afterward!


Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

Sounds excellent! One tiny note of caution - I would add some lime juice, lemon juice or vinegar (or some combination of juice and vinegar) to up the acidity if you're planning on long-term shelf life, and a bit of salt for good measure.

Yes to both! :) I was remiss in mentioning the preservative options in my post. Thanks!


Spokane, WA(Zone 5b)

I've never tried doing salsa that way but will definitely give it a try! Can you add jalapeno peppers at all? Jalapenos are my favorites.

Mackinaw, IL(Zone 5a)

Ooooh, this sounds so good! So glad I did a search for salsa recipes!

Gonna have to get some hardwood for smoking. . .

This *needs* to be bumped up!

This is still the recipe we use today. Unfortunately our tomato crop was bad this year and we are now out of salsa, but hopefully our fall crop will produce before the frost comes in a couple months.

Mackinaw, IL(Zone 5a)

Well, we've had almost 10" of rain in the past two days, so no chance to fire up the grill. My tomatoes were all cracking and rotting, and I HAD to get something made with them, so went ahead and tried a different recipe I found here on DG. I still intend to try this recipe, though, as soon as we dry out!

Do you have rough quantities of pepper, onions, carrots, etc? The recipe I just used had 8 c. tomatoes, 1-1/2 c. bell peppers, 3-5 jalepenos, 6 cloves garlic, 1/3 c. vinegar or lime juice. Does that sound like roughly the proportions you use? My DH (also named Dave) will love yours, if it includes habaneros! We've got them coming out our ears about now!

How do you do the garlic on the grill? Just put the whole head on, as if roasting it? I can just imagine what the smoke adds. . .

Thanks for sharing and inspiring us!

Palm Coast, FL(Zone 9a)

my secret to excellent salsa... is to pack up all the required ingredients, load 'em in the car and drive 'em over to my Best friend's house (who happens to be Mexican ... tee hee) and unload it... come back a few hours later and all my wonderful produce has been magically transformed into SALSA! Gotta love authenticity in cooking! I

LOL, seriously, I'm a gardener but not a cook, hehe. I can grow it, she can cook it. we make a great team!

Mackinaw, IL(Zone 5a)

That sounds like a great plan to me! :) Especially if you're willing to share the finished product. Definitely a win-win situation!

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