Saturday, August 27, 2011

Cooked Salsa

I am more of a fresh salsa girl because I love the crunch of fresh veggies, but my husband likes both fresh and cooked. I got a great deal on some roma tomatoes at the farmers market this morning, and since there were some in there that were really, really ripe and not great for a fresh salsa, I am also doing a cooked one today. I also got some long green chilies, strong onion and a jalapeno at the market since I only had one from my garden to use and used it on the fresh salsa I made earlier.

Note: this is NOT formulated for canning safely!

As with the fresh salsa, you can use any variety of tomato you like. I prefer roma, as they are firmer and create a less watery salsa, decreasing the cooking time a bit. Since the tomatoes will cook down, you'll need to start with more tomatoes than you think you'll need, so don't worry if it looks like a lot. You will want to peel your tomatoes for a cooked salsa, and you will find instructions for that at the end of this post. Whether or not you seed your tomatoes is totally up to you. I usually don't seed mine beyond what falls out on its own, but some prefer their salsa without the random tomato seeds.

The tomato paste really is an important part of the recipe, in case you were wondering if you could get by without. When you cook the salsa, you draw out a lot of water and deplete a lot of that fresh, ripe flavor--the tomato paste tightens the salsa up a bit and adds necessary flavor.

Cooked Salsa

3 cups tomatoes, peeled, cored and chopped (I used about 12 roma tomatoes)
1 1/2 cups onion, chopped
2 large long green chilis (mild) or two medium bell peppers
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup tomato paste (about 1/2 6 oz can)
Salt to taste
Optional: chopped jalapeno or other hot chili to taste
Optional: juice of 1/2 a lime, or to taste

Directions: Place tomatoes, onion, chilis/peppers, garlic and salt in a saucepan over medium high heat. Heat to boiling, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add tomato paste, parsley/cilantro and lime juice if using, simmer for another 5 minutes and remove from heat. When cooled, serve or chill in fridge.


Tomatoes (farmers market): $3/large crate, used about 1/5 = $.60
Long green chilies (farmers market): $.25 each, used 2 = $.50
Onion (farmers market): $.50/each large onion, used 3/4 = $.38
Jalapeno (farmers market): $.25 each = $.25
Tomato paste (organic): $4.99/6 oz can, used 1/2 = $.50
Lime: On sale for $.69, used 1/2 = $.35
Parsley/Garlic = Garden Freebies

Total Cost: $2.58

Peeling Your Tomatoes

Step 1: Bring a pot of water to boiling and fill a large bowl with cold water.

Step 2: Score the bottom of the tomato with an X using a paring knife. Some varieties will peel without being dipped in water if they are ripe/soft enough. If you are pulling of small pieces or pulling too much flesh off with the skin, they will need to be dipped in the boiling water.

Step 3: Place the tomatoes in  the boiling water for 30 seconds to a minute. Remove and place in bowl of cold water. Most of the skins will split, but don't fret if some don't.

Step 4: When cool enough to handle, peel the skins off.

Step 5: I find coring much easier and handling the tomato much easier as well when I cut the peeled tomato in half and then cut a notch/wedge to remove the core.

Step 6: Seed the tomatoes if you wish and chop.

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