Charring fruits and vegetables and then grinding or dicing them into a salsa is a delicious way to deepen the flavor of your homemade salsa. Salsa can, of course, be eaten on your favorite tortilla chip, but why stop there? It can also be used as a topping for fried eggs, grilled meats, vegetables, and fish, which would all become instantly more exciting with a salsa topping. Charring also provides a resourceful way to use produce that is on the brink of expiring, and can even enhance the flavors of out-of-season produce, taking things like winter tomatoes from meh to yeah!

Salsa #1: Any Day Charred Salsa

  • 4 roma tomatoes
  • 1/2 of a red onion
  • 6 cloves of garlic, papery skin on
  • 2 jalapenos
  • 1 Tb Olive oil
  • 3 Tb fresh grapefruit juice
  • Salt

Place the first 4 ingredients whole on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil. Broil on high on the top rack closest to the heat, rotating and removing from oven as vegetables blacken. Garlic and jalapeños will be first to come out of the oven after about 6-8 minutes. Place vegetables on a cutting board and cover them with a bowl to allow them to steam for 5 minutes. Remove stems from jalapeños and paper from garlic. Coarsely chop all of the vegetables and place them in a bowl, stir in olive oil, grapefruit juice, and a big pinch salt.

Salsa #2: Half-Charred Salsa Verde

  • 4 yellow tomatoes
  • 2 jalapeños
  • 4 cloves of garlic, skin on
  • 1/4 of a white onion, finely diced
  • 1 small cucmber, such as Persian, finely diced
  • The juice of 1 lime
  • 2TB cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1TB olive oil
  • S&P

Place the first 3 ingredients whole on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil. Broil on high, rotating and removing from oven as vegetables blacken. Garlic and jalapeños will be first to come out of the oven after about 6-8 minutes. Once vegetables are mostly blackened, place them on a cutting board and cover with a bowl to allow them to steam for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, place your white onion, cucumber, cilantro, olive oil, and lime juice into a bowl. Remove jalapeño stems and garlic skins, dice the charred vegetables, and combine them with the non-charred vegetables in the bowl. Season with a big pinch of salt.

Light and refreshing. Pairs well with seafood and more delicate chips such as restaurant style tortilla chips and plantain chips. 

Salsa #3: Orange and Charred Poblano Salsa

  • 2 poblano peppers
  • 4 cloves of garlic, skin on
  • 1/4 of a white or red onion, finely diced
  • 1 orange, supremed and juiced
  • 1/2 Tb Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder

Place Poblanos and garlic on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil. Broil on high, until everything has mostly blackened. Garlic will be done first after 6-8 minutes. Place peppers and garlic on a cutting board under a bowl and allow them to steam for 5 minutes. Supreme and juice an orange into a bowl, cut the supremed slices into smaller pieces and return to bowl. Add onion to the bowl. Peel the papery skin from Poblanos and garlic, dice them, and add them to the bowl as well. Stir in olive oil, salt, and chili powder.

Sweet and smoky. Pairs well with grilled pork chops and salmon.