I have a soft spot in my heart for southwest cuisine. When we visit our family in Tucson, AZ we pay a visit to a local Mexican restaurant that makes fresh salsa right at your table. When we were there a couple of weeks ago I was paying close attention to the ingredients and saw that they were using whole peeled tomatoes and (their) juices from a can. All the ingredients went into a porous, heavy, stone bowl and the lovely lady ground them up like she was using a large mortar and pestle. I’ve since learned that this piece of equipment is called a molcajete
I’ve been itching to recreate that salsa and it just so happened my sister and brother-in-law gave me a molcajete for my birthday. Woot woot! If you’re interested you can find them at Sur La Table.
Isn’t it cute? At first glance I thought, where the heck am I going to PUT it? But after we made one batch of salsa, then another because we plowed through the first in matter of minutes I got super excited about a new tradition we were starting.
The first batch we made with fresh jalapeno. It was good, but we realized that the flavors could’ve used some time to get acquainted. For the second batch we used some sliced jalapeno from a jar I had in the cupboard and this hands down was the winner! It was fresh tasting with tons of flavor.
Up until now I’ve used fresh tomatoes when making salsa and realize now what I’ve been missing. High quality canned tomatoes taste great, and the fire roasted variety add a smoky layer of flavor that would take you some time to achieve. Alas, this version will take less than 5 minutes to make. Get after it! You DO have time!
Fire Roasted Quick Salsa
8 (or so) whole fire-roasted tomatoes, without liquid
1 small red onion, finely chopped
3-4 slices of jarred jalapeno (in brine)
Juice of 2 limes
Salt + fresh ground black pepper
1 tbsp of good olive oil
1 handful of cilantro, more for garnish
Put everything into a food processor and pulse or grind it with a pestle and mortar. You may want to add tomato liquid to achieve desired consistency. Taste and adjust for seasoning or for more heat add jalapeno. You’ll be mixing and dipping within moments.
Have a great evening!