I am born, raised, and still reside in San Francisco. San Francisco is known for many things but my favorite part of living here is the food. I grew up eating food from all over the world but my favorite has always been Mexican food. Mexican food is a soul food. I can eat it every day and Mexico is one of my favorite places to visit. On my last trip to Nuevo Vallarta, a friend and I were determined to find and bring home molcajetes. We’d eaten carne asada tacos and salsa every morning for breakfast and were determined to continue eating fresh salsa when we got home. After asking around we were directed to Puerto Vallarta to a flea market in order to find the molcajetes. We found them pretty quickly but underestimated how heavy they were. We had them wrapped and a few days later it was time to go home. We both placed our molcajetes in our carry ons after checking our bags. As we went through the last check point we were both pulled out of line and had our bags further searched. We were then told we couldn’t bring them on the plane and had to check them. After much ado we made it back to the Bay Area with our molcajetes. I also underestimated the amount of time that it would take to cure it. After the trouble of bringing it home I was determined to get it cured and to make salsa in it. My first batch was delicious but the more you use a molcajete the better each batch gets as the salsa continues to season it. This recipe can be made in a molcajete although it will take a few batches to complete or it can be made in a blender. Due to the amount that I was making for this blog and my personal use, I used a blender. I also figured most people have access to a blender rather than a molcajete.
The roasting of the vegetables used in this recipe gives it a unique flavor that I just can’t resist. Give this delicious recipe a try and let me know what you think.
Serving size: 7 cups
Active time: 25 minutes
Inactive time: 15 minutes
Cooling time: 15-20 minutes
10 large tomatoes
1 white onion
1-3 C. cilantro (I used 3 because I love cilantro)
2/3 C. garlic cloves (You can use less because I also love garlic)
1/2 C. canola oil
1 T. salt
1 T. pepper
1 T. granulated garlic
1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F
2. Using a potato peeler remove the skin of the tomatoes. When you have peeled them, cut off the top where the root is, then slice them in half, and remove the seeds. The completed tomatoes can be placed onto a sheet pan while the skins and seeds can be composted.
3. Cut off the ends of the onion, remove the skin and the first layer of the onion, and slice the onion into quarters. Placed the quartered onion onto the sheet pan.
4. Cut the stem off of the jalapeños, slice them in half, and place them on the sheet pan.
5. Add the garlic to the sheet pan.
6. Pour the oil over all of the vegetables then add all of the seasoning. Using your hands rub the oil and seasoning all over all of the vegetables.
7. When everything is coated place the vegetables into the oven for 15 minutes.
8. When the vegetables have roasted take them out of the oven and allow them to cool for 15-20 minutes or until the sheet pan is no longer hot to the touch.
9. Add all of the vegetables to the blender, use a rubber spatula to get all of the seasoning off the pan as well, add the cilantro, and juice from 2 limes.
- Note: to get the most juice from the limes roll them on the countertop applying pressure until the lime softens. The limes can be squeezed to release the juice or a juice extractor can be used.
- Note: If you are going to use a molcajete, add some of the onion, garlic, jalapeño, lime juice, and tomato. Process the vegetables until you reach the consistency that you desire. You will also need to dice the cilantro and stir it into the finished product.
10. Blend the vegetables until smooth. The color won’t be bright red like what you see at the store but don’t be alarmed.
11. Store the salsa in a container with a lid and either enjoy immediately or refrigerate and enjoy later.
Notes and Variations:
- I peel the tomatoes because I don’t like the mouth feel of the skin which doesn’t break down from being baked nor from blending.
- The seeds are removed because they become bitter when baked.
- More or less cilantro, garlic, and jalapeños can be used.
- Any time of chili can be used for this recipe.
- The salsa will keep in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.
- The salsa will thicken a bit after being refrigerated.