I love salsa. It is one of the main criteria by which I rate Mexican restaurants. After all, it is usually the first flavor impression after being seated. I much prefer fresh salsas over cooked. Store-bought salsa in a jar isn’t even on the same page, let alone chapter, in my book. (No, I don’t have a book. I was speaking metaphorically).
Having said all that, today I made a cooked salsa. All the ingredients were grown in the garden: tomatoes, onions, garlic and three varieties of peppers: jalapeños, Serranos and Wa Mae Wo.
The above ingredients were roasted under the broiler on a stainless steel baking tray greased with avocado oil.
To blend the roasted ingredients including the charred skins would have added a lot of flavor, but I know from experience that when red and green ingredients are blended together the result is a nondescript grayish brown color. By peeling off the charred skins and roughly chopping the tomatoes, peppers, onions and garlic the individual colors could shine through.
To brighten the flavors I added a splash of brine from some bread and butter pickles I had made recently.
The salsa had already been transferred into a jar before I realized I’d almost forgotten to add the cilantro flavor concentrate I had made and frozen when the coriander plants were at their peak. It was simply cilantro blended with white balsamic vinegar and strained before freezing.
You can see how adding the green cilantro concentrate dulled the bright red color, but it added an all important flavor.