I’m sure you’re hoping this is the last garden tomato post. Probably not.
I wanted to make some salsa for the freezer, but not that wet salsa I made last week with peaches, rather something with a lot of the moisture removed before freezing, so there wouldn’t be the separation that makes so many freezer foods unappealing. Every recipe I have found for freezing salsa says you can do it, but that moisture is a problem. So, I roasted everything—tomatoes, onions, peppers, garlic—everything except the lime juice and cilantro, and pulsed it all in the food processor. It came out almost as a paste or spread and we’re going to eat it that way tonight on beef burritos. The rest is in small containers in the freezer. I’m hoping the consistency will make for a better frozen product, and I offer other suggestions for using it.
Roasted Salsa for Freezing
Preheat oven to 350°-400°
The amount of product you make will obviously depend on the number of tomatoes you have, but here is what I worked with today.
20-30 small-medium tomatoes (plum, cherry, bush, beefsteak), seeded—I had roasted a batch earlier in the week and roasted about 15 more yesterday
1 jalapeno pepper
2 Anaheim peppers
1 medium onion, quartered
1 head of garlic, separated into cloves, unpeeled—conversely, you could leave the bulb intact and roast whole with the top sliced off
1/4-1/2 cup cilantro
juice and zest of one lime
salt to taste
olive oil for roasting
Roast and process the vegetables:
- 30-40 mins. You can roast vegetables anywhere in the temperature range listed above, but I like to roast tomatoes at the lower temperature. Seed the tomatoes to further reduce the water in the final product.
- 30 mins. I roasted the rest of the vegetables together:
- Quarter the onions and brush with olive oil
- Brush the whole peppers with olive oil and seed after browned. I did not peel the Anaheim peppers, but I did peel the jalapeno after roasting because the skin seemed thicker.
- in a foil pouch, drizzle the garlic bulb or individual cloves of garlic with olive oil and close the pouch tightly
- Let all cool before placing in food processor with cilantro. Seed the peppers and squeeze out the roasted garlic.
- Process the mixture until it reaches the consistency you want. As you can see in my picture, I processed mine to a pretty fine consistency, but it still has a good texture.
- Add the lime zest and juice and pulse again to blend. Add salt to taste.
Tonight, I’m going to spread a large spoonful on each tortilla, then add the rest of the burrito ingredients (lettuce, beef mixture, cheese). It would make an interesting spread on a hamburger or other sandwich, too.
If you want a salsa to eat with chips, use this as a base and add canned diced tomatoes or tomato juice to thin it to a dipping consistency. Here, for example, is one tablespoon of the roasted salsa base mixed with one medium, diced bush tomato. It sat for a few hours and now looks and tastes like a regular dipping salsa:
When winter comes, and it can’t be that far away, I’ll let you know how the frozen salsa works out. Chances are I’ll be making more this weekend or next, because as soon as I got it in the freezer, my husband walked in with two more giant tomatoes.