Until Frontera salsas hit grocery shelves near me recently—I have a soft spot for the Habenero variety—I had almost completely ditched jarred salsas altogether. Why go jarred when you can put together a fresher, more flavorful salsa in mere minutes, and often cheaper as well? Put some tomatoes, onion, cilantro, hot pepper, and lime juice in a blender and you'll have something that will outdo the jarred stuff anyday.
Of course, making it at home also gives you the control to take salsa even further, but that doesn't mean you have to go crazy with ingredients either. For this salsa, I just took a standard set of ingredients and roasted them first, which resulted in a different flavor profile in the end.
I roasted the tomatoes—coated with salt to help draw out some moisture—jalapeño, garlic, and onion in the broiler until they all started to blacken. Then into the blender they went and out came a salsa that only needed some cilantro and lime juice to make it whole.
Sure this added about 20 minutes to the salsa-making process, but it was all for good. The fresh flavors of homemade salsa are all there, but with a little more tomato intensity, some added sweetness, and a heat that packed a punch, but with less sharpness than a fresh jalapeño, melding seamlessly into the salsa.
Double the recipe for a Cinco de Mayo shindig; this stuff will disappear.
About the author: Joshua Bousel brings you new, tasty condiment each Wednesday and a recipe for weekend grilling every Friday. He also writes about grilling and barbecue on his blog The Meatwave whenever he can be pulled away from his grill.