There are a million and one ways to make salsa; roast jalapeño salsa is a quick twist to add a zesty mellowness to a timeless favourite. The mighty jalapeño is an often misunderstood pepper. Scary to some, common and unexciting to others.
What I wish was more commonly known is that jalapeños become more mellow when they’re roasted; same as if they’re de-seeded. I could have left the peppers raw for this recipe and had my salsa turn out sharp and feisty, but I’m not the only one eating it in my house. Besides, the smell of roasting jalapeños and onions makes the house smell wonderful for the afternoon, so why not, right?
My next door neighbour harvested a crop of tomatoes from her balcony garden and offered my family and me a bunch along with a handful of fresh red and green jalapeños. After chopping up a couple and sacrificing them to the pickle jar in my fridge (give that a try sometime, you’ll thank me), I decided to whip up a batch of fresh salsa.
Now, as my daughter is still just learning to appreciate spicy food that bites back, I decided a roast jalapeño salsa was in order. It worked out great. She and my wife totalled off the whole batch within two days; it really topped off a chicken taco salad perfectly.
A word on cilantro. I acknowledge there are many out there who both detest the taste of or get legitimately sick from cilantro. I won’t begrudge them; this recipe can work just fine without it.
A word on honey: I don’t want to let my vegan readers feel they’re left out on this one. Agave syrup or a brown sugar simple syrup can be used in place of honey.
Again, there are a million and one ways to make salsa; roast jalapeño salsa is one of my favourites.
Roast Jalapeño salsa
- Sheet pan, Mixing bowl, oven
- 5 medium tomatoes diced
- 1 medium onion red or white; it's up to you
- 5 whole jalapeños seeded or not; again, it's your choice
- 1/2 cup cilantro chopped (leave it out if you don't like cilantro; this isn't a deal breaker)
- 2 tsp honey or agave syrup if you want to go vegan
- 2 Tbsp lime juice
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
Cut and roast
- Preheat the oven to 350F
- Dice the onion and jalapeños and toss them in the olive oil, cumin, salt and pepper.
- Lay the onion and Jalapeños out on the sheet pan and roast for 20 minutes
- One done, remove and set aside to cool while you get the rest of the recipe together.
Cut and mix
- Dice the tomatoes and chop the cilantro and put them in the mixing bowl.
- Add the remainder of the ingredients and mix thouroughly.
- Add the cooled jalapeños and onions and mix; cover the bowl and sit it in the fridge for at least an hour to allow the flavors to marry up.