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Salsa de Molcajete (Roasted Tomato and Green Chile Salsa)

Yield 6 servings (serving size: 1/4 cup)
This is archetypal salsa, made from tomatoes, green chiles, cilantro, and lime. But more than a mere mix of ingredients, salsa de molcajete uses centuries-old techniques to combine flavors, bringing out the best of each.

Ingredients

  • 6 plum tomatoes (about 1 pound)
  • 3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 2 jalapeño peppers
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Nutrition Information

  • calories 23
  • caloriesfromfat 12 %
  • fat 0.3 g
  • satfat 0.0 g
  • monofat 0.1 g
  • polyfat 0.1 g
  • protein 0.9 g
  • carbohydrate 5 g
  • fiber 1.2 g
  • cholesterol 0.0 mg
  • iron 0.5 mg
  • sodium 106 mg
  • calcium 10 mg

How to Make It

  1. Preheat broiler.

  2. Place the tomatoes, garlic, and jalapeños on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil 16 minutes, turning after after 8 minutes. Cool and peel tomatoes and garlic. Combine the garlic and peppers in a molcajete, mortar, or bowl; pound with a pestle or the back of a spoon to form a paste. Add tomatoes, and coarsely crush using the pestle or spoon. Combine the tomato mixture, cilantro, and remaining ingredients in a small bowl.

Cook's Notes

Roasting tomatoes gives them a sweet and complex taste; rinsing onion under cold water makes it crisp; and crushing roasted garlic and chiles in a mortar releases their full flavor. Though it's typically done in a molcajete (Mexican lava rock mortar), you can also make this salsa using a marble mortar and pestle (as we did). Finely chopping the garlic and chile in a food processor then adding the tomatoes and pulsing the mixture until everything is coarsely pureed will yield great-tasting results as well.