Salsa Roja- Mexican Roasted Salsa

Based upon the fact that the entire batch was eaten in one evening, I would say this is a thumbs up. There are so many types of salsa, but I find this one particularly good, because the ingredients are roasted prior to combining.

In many traditional Mexican recipes, the ingredients are roasted in a pan or fried in oil. I wanted to make it easier to prepare and a bit less fat and oil, so I did it this way and I was very happy with the results.

I really do think this is easier to make with a food processor, but if you want to be traditional, you can use a mortar and pestle, or as they are called in Mexico, molcajete.

The key to making this special is the roasting, so before you begin, preheat your oven to 375F or 190C. Then prepare all of your vegetables as described below.


8 Roma Tomatoes, sliced in half
1 Large Onion, peeled and cut into 4 quarters.
2-3 Jalapeno or 1-2 Serrano Chilies if you want it hotter
6 cloves of Garlic, peeled

Lie them all on a non stick baking sheet, skin side down for the tomatoes and drizzle with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil. Put into the oven and bake for 25-35 minutes. You want the ingredients to have a nice brown color along the edges, but not burnt. Then remove from oven and let them cool on the baking sheet.

Prepare the following:

1 bunch of fresh Cilantro, leaves and stems, about 2 cups unchopped, or 1 cup chopped.
Juice of two Limes, you may add more to taste.
2 tsp Sea Salt, you may need to add more, but start with the 2 tsp and see how you get on.

Take all of your roasted ingredients and the juices and oil from the baking sheet and put into the food processor and pulse until they are finely chopped, then add in the rest of your fresh ingredients and continue to blend until smooth. This is not a chunky salsa, but rather a smooth paste. 

Put into the refrigerator and cool for at least one hour, but two hours is better. Serve with tortilla chips and/or use as a condiment on eggs or as a dip for crudites. The uses are endless and it will keep easily in your fridge for at least a week.

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