"Smoking the tomatoes first adds a depth of flavor that isn't possible with raw tomatoes. The smokiness mingles with the heat of the chili, the onions and cilantro add more flavor, and letting it all mingle in a salsa for a few hours creates a desperate need for tortilla chips! While we're waiting for the ribs on the grill, we can sit around and eat this and remember how lucky we are to have summer."
Shauna James Ahern, Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef
|5 large tomatoes, at the height of ripeness||1 tablespoon sherry vinegar|
|1 medium Anaheim chili||1 lime, juiced|
|1 medium red onion, peeled and finely diced||1 lemon, juiced|
|1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic||Kosher salt|
|1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro||cracked black pepper|
|2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley|
To smoke the tomatoes: Get your smoker ready with a good amount of smoke going. Cut 4 tomatoes in half, and leave one of the halves on the kitchen counter. Put the tomatoes, skin side down, onto the smoker rack. Cover. Let the tomatoes smoke for 30 minutes. Remove them from the smoker and let them cool. Remove the skins from the tomatoes and chop the tomatoes. Save as much of the juice as possible—it's an important ingredient.
If you don't have a smoker, you will need to add smoked paprika (about 2 tablespoons) or a dried chipotle pepper that has been hydrated and deseeded. This will give you a smoky taste that's different than the smoked tomatoes, but equally delicious.
Roast the pepper: Rub a little oil on the Anaheim pepper. (This is a mild pepper. If you want more heat in the salsa, use a different chili. But be careful.) Throw it in a 425 degree F oven and roast it until the skin begins to blister. Put the pepper in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it sit until it's cool to the touch. Peel the skin and deseed. Chop it up with some care.
Blanch the other tomatoes: Bring a large saucepan of salted water to boil, using enough salt to make the water taste like the ocean. With a paring knife, mark a small X on the bottom of the tomato. Add the tomatoes to the salted water and cook until the skin starts to slip off, about 5 to 10 seconds. (Don't let the tomatoes stay in the water for much longer or they will start to cook.) Transfer the tomatoes to a bowl of ice water to cool quickly. Remove the skins, which should slip off fairly easily. Cut the tomatoes in half, remove the seeds and chop.
Make the salsa: Combine the tomatoes, roasted pepper, onion, garlic, cilantro, parsley, and sherry vinegar. Stir.
Place a fourth of the salsa in a food processor. Pulse until the pureed. Add this back into the salsa.
Squeeze in the lemon and lime juice. Taste. Add more if you wish. Season with salt and pepper.
Let the salsa sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before eating it. (I know. It's hard.) It will be even better the next day.
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