September 19, 2012

Roasted Green Salsa

Well, this is the time of year when tomatoes are coming ripe in bunches, peppers are ripening (especially chili peppers in our Northern climates, they do come late in the year, don't they!), and even onions (the long-day ones) are ready to harvest ... which all adds up to ... well ... SALSA. At least in my house it does!! Salsa is a great way to use up the bounty of all of these vegetables at once, when you are already swamped with produce. Salsa is also a great idea if you get a bunch of tomatoes (too many for fresh eating) but not quite enough for canning (making sauce, or crushed tomatoes or a canned recipe). If you are freezing salsa, you can use whatever number of tomatoes you happen to have on hand, and tweak the recipe to fit. That's freezing, mind you... if you want to can your salsa, you have to stick to the recipe exactly.

I grew my own Cilantro in the herb garden this year just for salsa. I wanted to try several different varieties this year, fresh versus roasted, different colours of tomatoes, a version with paste tomatoes, canned versus frozen, etc.

Today, I picked quite a few green-when-ripe tomatoes, so I decided to make a green salsa ... roasted green salsa for freezing, to be specific. If you use green tomatoes, green peppers, green chili peppers, and green herbs, it becomes an all-green salsa. There isn't enough acid in this recipe to can it safely, so I froze it in small tupperware containers. It doesn't all HAVE to be green, that just seemed like a fun thing to try. You can use any colour tomato/pepper etc of course, if that is what the garden gives you that day. Without further ado:

Roasted Green Salsa


8                      Heirloom Tomatoes – green when ripe
2                      Green Peppers – Bell Pepper or Cubanelle
1                      Jalapeno Pepper
1                      Poblano Pepper
1 large             Onion
4 cloves           Garlic
½ Cup             Lime Juice
1 tsp                Sugar
1 tbsp              Chives, fresh and chopped
1 tbsp              Cilantro, fresh and chopped (or dried)
1 tbsp              Parsley, fresh and chopped
1 tsp                Oregano
2 tsp                Cumin
2 tsp                Chili Powder
1 tsp                Salt

Makes: about 6 Cups


Cut the Tomatoes in half. Scoop out seeds.
Cut Peppers in half, remove seeds.
Cut Onion into quarters after removing skin.
Remove skin from Garlic cloves.
Roast all vegetables on a roasting pan (with sides) at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes, until onions turn translucent and peppers are beginning to char a little.

Let cool. Peel tomatoes and Peppers if you wish.
(This is more of a texture issue than anything to do with safety, some people dislike the texture of peels even after processing, and some - like me - don't notice and don't mind. Personal preference here).

Add to the food processor. Also add the Sugar, Lime Juice, Salt, Cumin, Chili Powder, Oregano, Cilantro, Parsley and Chives.
Then use a food processor to chop into a fine, smooth consistency.

It will probably still be fairly juicy, especially if you used tomatoes that weren’t paste types.
Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for around 20-30 minutes, until the salsa reached the desired consistency. Keep in mind that after freezing, and thawing for use, it tends to become more watery, so it is nice to have a thicker salsa to begin with.

Remove from heat and let cool.

Fill freezer-safe Tupperware jars with salsa leaving ½” headspace. Make sure the Salsa has completely cooled, to avoid condensation and ice on top of the salsa. Place lids on and freeze.

Alternatively, you could also measure a cup or two into resealable plastic bags, gently press flat, then freeze for easy and swift defrosting whenever a snack attack occurs. Depending on your freezer space, this might be a space-saving option.

Freeze some ice cube trays as well (for use with eggs in the morning, or other small additions to recipes)

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