Pick up a tomato and bite right into it. If the juices drip down to your elbows then you know you have a good one. I once passed a road side farm stand in Arkansas that read, “elbow licking good!” I pulled over and bought two bags.
Now that I’m in Brooklyn, I’m tasting the bounty of the Northeast. And I must say the tomatoes up here are just as flavor-packed as the Southern ones. The colorful heirloom variety are my favorite and I tend to get overzealous when I see beautiful produce. That’s why I came home with over three pounds of tomatoes.
Typically I just buy things based on their aesthetics and find out how to prepare them later. This time though I actually had a plan. My husband has been dreaming of homemade salsa and I wanted to try a new variation. I also wanted to prolong the shelf life by roasting the vegetables first. This recipe is heavy on the garlic so feel free to tone it down if it’s not your thing.
Tomatoes contain carotenoids: alpha- and beta-carotene, lutein, and lycopene. These act as antioxidants to help protect your cells. In order to be properly absorbed in the body though they must be consumed with fat in your diet. Add some good olive oil to whatever meal you’re enjoying with the salsa. In my attempt to minimize chip intake, I reach for zucchini and pepper slices to satisfy crunch cravings then drizzle olive oil on top of the salsa.
Makes about 2 cups.
1 lb variety of heirloom tomatoes – cut in half
1 tsp salt, plus more to taste
1 medium jalapeño pepper – sliced in half
4 medium cloves garlic – peeled
1 medium red onion – peeled and quartered
1/3 cup loosely chopped fresh cilantro
2 tsp freshly squeezed lime juice or 1/2 a lime
►Preheat broiler. Line a large rimmed backing sheet with aluminum foil. Place all tomatoes skin side down on the pan. Sprinkle salt over the tomatoes. Add the jalapeño, garlic and onion to the pan and place in broiler for 20-30 minutes, or until the vegetables begin to blacken. Remove from the oven and let cool for ten minutes.
►Remove the stem and seeds from the jalapeño. Place tomatoes, jalapeño, garlic and onion in a food processor. Process for 1 minute until all is finely chopped. Add in the cilantro and lime juice, pulsing a few times to combine.
►Store in a glass jar for up to one week.