Make Ahead

Roasted Tomato Serrano Salsa (With a Couple Secrets)

August 26, 2010
2 Ratings
  • Makes 2-ish cups
Author Notes

I'm not sure at what point a condiment / salsa becomes a sauce, but thought I'd share one of my favorite salsas that I use with chips, on fish (as shown in the picture with tuna), on grilled steaks, or as a pasta sauce. I've done this salsa for several years now and keep changing it over time, as we all do with even our favorite recipes. I just can't stop tweeking the latest tweek - I think many of you understand. So this is the August 25, 2010 10:37 pm, Pacific Standard Time version. The first secret to this is to roast the tomatoes and serrano peppers in a dry, foil-line saute pan over medium-high heat. It contributes a smokey, roasted flavor to the salsa. The second secret is the soy sauce that's added at the end. It brings up the tomato flavor and balances out the spicey, savory, salty, sweet flavors. Oh, and I recommend small - medium tomatoes instead of those big, gorgeous, juicy ones, as the latter will make this salsa too watery (just my opinion). This salsa is spicy, I won't kid you, but you can tone it down by reducing (or eliminating) the serrano, although I've never done it. You can also reduce the black pepper I imagine, and increase the lime juice, as all these things tend to tone down spice. But in the end, this salsa is mostly for folks who like a little kick in their food. Hope you like it as much as we have. —TheWimpyVegetarian

What You'll Need
  • 2 pounds small to medium tomatoes (but I'm not talking grape tomatoes!)
  • 2 serrano chiles
  • 1/2 cup white onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  1. Line a dry saute pan with foil. Heat the pan over medium-high heat. Place the tomatoes and serrano chiles in the hot pan and pan-roast, turning on all sides using a large metal spoon, until the skins begin to blister and turn black in places. The skins of the tomatoes will begin to split. Remove before the tomatoes become mushy, and set aside until cool enough to handle.
  2. Remove the tops of the chiles. Peel and seed them and place in a food processor fitted with a blade. Peel the tomatoes and place them in the food processor with the chiles. Add the onion, garlic, and cilantro. Pulse until the salsa is coarsely pureed.
  3. Pour into a bowl and add the salt, pepper, lime juice and soy sauce. Stir to combine.
  4. Serve as a condiment to fish, steak or on top of pasta.
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6 Reviews

lapadia October 20, 2010
I finally made your (8-25) version; it was quick, easy and and added a delicious "kick" to our bbq'd flank steak!
TheWimpyVegetarian October 20, 2010
I'm so glad you liked it, lapadia!!! Thanks for the feedback!
gingerroot August 26, 2010
This looks so good (I bet it is fabulous on grilled tuna)! Thank you so much for sharing your "secrets" - I am saving this and cannot wait to make it.
TheWimpyVegetarian August 26, 2010
Thanks so much gingerroot! The great thing is it saves well in the frig too, although it's pretty easy and quick to make.
lapadia August 26, 2010
This sounds WONDERFUL and I like a "kick" in my food!
TheWimpyVegetarian August 26, 2010
Thanks so much! It gets balanced out a bit here so it doesn't knock you down, but there's definitely a little kick here. Let me know what you think if you try it!