Charred Tomato and Onion Salsa

IngredientsOnions, Tomatoes
Day PartSnack
Menu PartAppetizer/Small Plate
Cuisine TypeMexican

Jorge de la Torre
Dean of Culinary Education
Johnson & Wales University

This lively salsa can multitask as a dip with chips, a topping for tacos and quesadillas or a condiment for grilled chicken, pork or fish. Charring the tomatoes, onion and garlic, then blending in paprika and chipotle peppers creates layers of smoky flavor. Lime juice and cilantro are added at the end to add acidic and herbal notes.


1 lb. tomatoes, unpeeled and halved
2 large yellow onions, each cut into 3 to 4 thick slices
2 garlic clvoes
½ tsp. cumin seed
1 whole canned chipotle chili in adobo sauce
1 tbsp. adobo sauce
1 tsp. oregano leaves
½ tsp. smoked paprika
½ tsp. kosher salt
2 tbsp. finely chopped cilantro
1½ tsp. fresh lime juice


  1. Position oven rack about 4 inches below broiler; heat broiled to high. Arrange tomatoes, onion slices and garlic on rimmed baking sheet. Broil 5 minutes or until charred on one side.
  2. Turn vegetables; add cumin seed and char on second side about 2 minutes longer. Let cool. (Do not peel tomatoes and reserve any juices that are released.)
  3. In blender, puree charred tomatoes and their juices, onion, garlic and cumin seed. Add chipotle chili, adobo sauce, oregano, smoked paprika and salt; blend until smooth.
  4. Cool mixture to room temperature. Stir in cilantro and lime juice; adjust seasoning. Serve at room temperature.

Photo courtesy of National Onion Association

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