Cherry Tomato Salsa
An Extremely Versatile Condiment
I originally published this salsa recipe as part of a baked egg dish, but I believe it’s worth posting on its own as its one of the most versatile and easy salsas I know how to make.
When I was at cooking school in Mexico, we spent a lot of time making salsas. It’s one of my favorite parts of the cuisine, but it can be time consuming. Toast the chiles, soak the chiles, char the onion, roast the garlic and tomatoes, and then finally blend it all together.
This recipe is great because it manages to collapse that entire process into a one-pan project. All of the ingredients get cooked together in a single pan, everything gets lightly sautéed, and then the steaming process helps to soften up the dried chiles (replacing the soaking process), soften the tomatoes, and bring out the natural sweetness in everything.
There are so many ways to use this salsa. It’s great as a table salsa for dipping or on top of tacos or quesadillas. You can also thin it out with a bit of extra broth for a great sauce to spoon over enchiladas or meatballs. My personal favorite way to use this salsa is on top of cheese-stuffed chiles rellenos.
Let me know if you have any questions!
2-3 cups cherry tomatoes
1 small yellow onion, sliced or diced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced thick
2-10 dried chiles — I used 2 arbol chiles & 4 costeño chiles, but you can use any combination of dried chiles. Chipotles work great here (either dried or in adobo), and you can even just use a couple tbsp chile powder in a pinch.
1/2 cup chicken broth – you can use slightly more if you'd like a thinner sauce
2 tsp sherry vinegar
Start by heating up a small pan over medium heat. Add in a couple tablespoons of olive oil, and add the onion. Stir to coat in oil and lightly salt.
Cook the onions until they're slightly translucent.
Next, add in the garlic and the dried chiles. Toss everything to coat it in oil, which will allow the chiles to toast and really heighten their flavor and aroma.
After a minute of cooking, add in the cherry tomatoes. Toss everything to coat in oil, and generously salt the whole mixture.
Pour in 1/2 cup of chicken broth, and immediately cover the pan. This will create steam that cooks everything through and softens up the dried chiles.
Cook, covered, for 5-10 min. Once finished, remove the pan from the heat and allow the contents to cool slightly.
Once everything has cooled a bit, add it to a blender, along with 2 tsp sherry vinegar (or lime juice).
Be careful, as hot liquids can create steam buildup in blenders that creates enough pressure to pop the top off and send everything flying. Blend slowly at first, and make sure you allow some of the steam to escape, especially if the mixture is still warm.
Blend until everything is well incorporated. Taste it and adjust as needed with more salt, vinegar, or broth until you have the taste and consistency you want.
At this point, you can optionally pass the salsa through a fine-mesh strainer. This step isn't necessary, but it creates a smoother salsa. Certain types of chiles and cherry tomatoes have thick skins that will create grit in the salsa. Passing it through a strainer helps to get rid of these.
Just pour it into a strainer over a bowl and use a spatula to push the contents through.
Boom! Now you've got a beautiful salsa ready to go!
If you want to keep this salsa, put it in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for up to one week.
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