While I can’t say that my entire garden has been successful this year (darn rabbits!), my tomatoes definitely have been. Between my CSA and my tomato plants, I have already picked about 8lbs of ripe, delicious tomatoes. With the exception of the odd bacon and tomato sandwich and some pizza, most of my tomatoes have gone into salsa. More specifically, this Slow Roasted Tomato Salsa.
I have made many types of salsas over the years, from your basic fresh tomato salsas to fruit salsas to roasted tomatillo salsas. But this year is the first time I have tried roasted tomato salsa. And it is now tied for my new favorite (I still really love roasted tomatillo salsa too).
Basically, I can’t get enough of this salsa. I keep stockpiling tomatoes until I get the full 2 lbs I need to make this recipe, then I roast them up. Since I’m thinking ahead to the winter, I’m freezing some batches of the roasted tomatoes so that I’ll be able to have delicious fresh salsa all winter long.
As much as I love this salsa, it does have two downfalls. One is the cooking time. An hour and a half in the oven is not something you’d have to deal with for fresh salsa. But I think it’s so worth it for the slightly sweet, smoky flavor you get. I have had success roasting them in my grill to cut down on oven time when it’s really hot. Just don’t use a pan you’re really fond of, as it can be really difficult to get the blackened tomatoes off the edges.
The other downfall of this recipe compared to fresh tomato salsa is added fat. The recipe uses 1/2 cup of olive oil in the tomato roasting. However, you do discard the excess oil, so not all of it goes into the finished product. Of course, some of it will get left with the tomatoes and make it’s way into the salsa, but I think that an estimate of only half of it making it to the salsa is a very conservative estimate, and this is what I have based my nutrition information on. The upside of this is that cooking the tomatoes, and particularly cooking (and eating) them with the oil, makes some of the nutrients (like lycopene) in the tomato more easily absorbed.
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 2 pounds fresh tomatoes, cored and sliced 1/2" thick
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup minced red onion
- 1 jalapeno pepper, stemmed, seeded and minced
- 2 Tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
- 1 Tablespoon lime juice
Move oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325°F. Drizzle 2 Tbsp of the olive oil into a 9x13" baking dish. Spread half of the garlic in the baking pan. Arrange tomato slices in the baking pan. Spread the remaining garlic over the tomatoes and season with a little salt and pepper. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over tomatoes and garlic. Bake for about an hour and a half until tomatoes are shriveled and beginning to turn black at the edges. Remove from oven and cool.
Remove tomatoes from pan to a cutting board using a slotted spoon or turner, leaving the oil in the pan. Discard excess oil. Chop tomatoes and garlic and move to a medium bowl. Stir in red onion, jalapeno, cilantro and lime juice. Season with additional salt and pepper, and lime juice to taste. Serve immediately or refrigerate, covered until read to use.
To roast in a gas grill: Turn all burners on to low and preheat for 15-20 minutes, ideally reaching 300-325°F. Roast until tomatoes are shriveled and turning black around the edges, 45-60 minutes.
Roasted tomatoes can be stored in an airtight container or freezer bag and frozen until ready to use. Just thaw, chop and stir in the remaining ingredients.
*Note: Recipe from America’s Test Kitchen The Best Mexican Recipes