I love this salsa recipe, and do it every year on the Fourth of July. Although it looks deceptively average, it actually delivers electric bite with every bite. When you are ready to move on from salsa fresca, do so. What you will have is a beautifully alive, earthly slightly smoked sauce. Unlike salsa fresca, the deep, caramelized flavors of roasted tomatoes and onions, next to the chipotle smoke, lend a rich, beautiful and balanced sauce. And, the color! It's beautiful.
Initially, I sat on this recipe for over six months, waiting (and waiting) for the tomato season. I was waiting for the citrus season, the asparagus season and a good piece of fruit. Every few weeks I received my notebook in a pocket and there it was, a dirty black pen sweep, covering three-quarters of a page. The black letters were there to remind me of the magnificently lively, earthy and slightly smoked salad I wrote while visiting friends (Hadley & Philip) in New Zealand. It is a rich red sauce with very small pieces of green coriander. We stayed in Wellington for a week and Hadley made this salsa for one night.
Why this salsa?
If you're used to making or buying salsa fresca, admire it. I love salsa fresca and do it regularly. This salad is a completely different beast – the deep, caramelised flavors of roasted tomatoes and onions, next to the smoky tobacco, create a beautiful and balanced sausage. The other thing I love is the texture. This sauce has a rustic, rich texture that comes from cleaning a portion of the ingredients to the beginning of the process, and then hand-slicing the majority of roasted tomatoes and onions. With the baked ingredients, it's a bit more effort to be sure, but it's worth it.
Not just for chips, this is the perfect salsa recipe for use on nachos, tacos, eggs, vegetarians, quesadillas, kabobs ….. a perfect addition to a Fourth of July spread. Other ideas? Give a voice to the comments.