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Smoky Roasted Salsa

Rebecca Lindamood
This Smoky Roasted Salsa is the little black dress of the salsa world; non-traditional, smoky, fine-textured, and slightly spicy with a bold flavour that’ll knock you out, this salsa is equally wonderful when dunked with chips, poured over meats in a slow-cooker, or spooned and baked on enchiladas. I have yet to find a commercially available salsa that matches this for depth, complexity, and utter fabulousness. I make this salsa in bulk -to the tune of a bushel each of tomatillos and plum tomatoes- every summer because the boys and their friends alike act neglected and depressed if we run out before summer rolls around. While it is far and away best when prepared in season, you can make it year ‘round in a salsa emergency. Believe me when I tell you if you run out, it will be a salsa emergency.
Yield: about 6 pints
Reprinted from "Not Your Mama's Canning Book"


  • 12 dried chipotle peppers stems and seeds removed
  • 12 dried guajilllo peppers stems and seeds removed
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 small to medium sized onions
  • 1 head garlic separated into cloves but not peeled
  • 2 lbs plum or Roma tomatoes
  • 2 lbs tomatillos husks removed
  • 1 cup bottled lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey agave, or raw sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt


  • In a heavy, dry skillet (cast iron, for example) toast the chiles in batches until pliable. Place in a stainless steel or glass bowl. Pour boiling water over the chiles and weigh down with a plate or weight. Let soak for 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, place the tomatillos, tomatoes, onions, and garlic on a half sheet pan under the broiler. Turn all of them occasionally until blistered all over and blackened in places.
  • Transfer the tomatillos to a blender or food processor. Pulse until smooth: add to a large stockpot. Transfer the onions and garlic to a cutting board. Leave the tomatoes in the half sheet pan and cover with a second, inverted sheet pan or with plastic wrap to allow it to cool.
  • While the tomatoes cool, peel and roughly chop the onions and garlic. Add them to the blender or food processor and pulse until finely chopped or smooth. Add to the tomatillos in the stockpot.
  • Add the soaked chile peppers to the blender or food processor, strain the soaking liquid through a fine mesh sieve, add the liquid to the food processor or blender, and blend on high until smooth. Add to the stockpot.
  • Turn your attention to the tomatoes. The skins should peel easily from the tomatoes. Discard the skins and add the tomatoes and juice to the blender. Pulse until the tomatoes are your desired texture. (See Cook’s Notes)
  • Add to the stockpot with the lime juice, honey, sugar, or agave, and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently to prevent scorching. Lower heat to medium, and simmer for 15 minutes or until slightly less thick than ketchup. Ladle into prepared pint or half pint jars to within 1/2-inch of the rim. Fix jar lids in place and tighten appropriately.
  • Use canning tongs to transfer jars to a boiling water canner with boiling water to cover by 2 inches. Put the canner lid in place and bring to a full rolling boil. Boil for 15 minutes. Transfer jars to a wire rack or towel lined counter. Cool completely (at least 12 hours) before removing rings, wiping clean, and labeling. Store in a cool, dark place for up to a year.

Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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