Chipotle Tomato Salsa

I plucked our first tomato on Sunday. I watched it turn red for days, giving me some hope for our garden that’s become an overgrown weed patch. I held it to my nose and inhaled. If you’ve ever grown tomatoes, you know the smell. It’s like the sun. It needed to be in some kind of a salsa. Why this one? I love fresca salsas. But this one, a cooked salsa, stands out. Its flavor is deep, vibrant, and slightly smoky.

I made it to go along with a one-pot Cuban chicken meal. The recipe will appear on this blog in a day or two, whenever I get a few seconds to copy it down. I chopped up our lovely garden tomato and a few more from the market and made this salsa. It’s one of my faves, and Jeff’s too. He’s a Texan so consider that a salsa gold stamp of approval.

Blackening the tomatoes, garlic and onion adds a touch of carmelization. The chipotle adds some terrific smoky heat. For more heat, simply add more chipotle. Green flecks of cilantro cool it down. By the way, chipotles will keep for months in the refrigerator. Just empty the can and adobo sauce into a small container, put a lid on it, and store.

Chipotle Tomato Salsa
Gourmet, September 2007

1 pound tomatoes
1/2 large white onion, cut into 4 wedges
3 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro

Heat a dry large nonreactive skilled (not nonstick) over medium heat until hot, then cook tomatoes, onion, and garlic, turning with tongs, until all are blackened in spots, 10 to 12 minutes. Puree in a blender with chiles and 3/4 teaspoon salt (use caution when blending hot foods). Return to skillet and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cool to room temperature, then stir in cilantro.

Makes about 2 1/2 cups


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