This month, readers treat us to a variety of taco recipes, so naturally we crave salsa. We turn to Austin food advocate and community coordinator Héctor González, who has been sharing his recipes since moving from Mexico. “There are taquerías there that established their fame based on their salsas,” González says. But, he says, you don’t have to limit the versatile ingredient’s use to a condiment—it is also the perfect base for cocktails. This salsa can easily be adapted to your tastes. Increase or decrease the jalapeño pepper or try a habanero if you want an extra kick.
Roasted Red Salsa
6 plum tomatoes
1 medium white onion, halved
3–5 cloves garlic
1–2 hot peppers, such as jalapeños, serranos or habaneros
Fresh cilantro (optional)
Salt, to taste
Cook’s Tip: You can turn this salsa into a michelada. Press 1/4 cup salsa through a fine mesh strainer into a pint glass. Add 1 tablespoon lime juice and 1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste, then slowly pour in 12 ounces of Mexican lager. Cheers!
1. Roast the tomatoes, onion, garlic and peppers on the stovetop or under a broiler. Turn vegetables as needed, blackening all over. Keep an eye on the garlic and peppers, as they will roast faster than the tomatoes.
2. Add roasted vegetables, and cilantro if you like, to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. A couple of pinches of salt will bring the salsa’s brightness to the fore. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking. You can serve this salsa warm, or chill until ready to serve.
Makes about 3 cups.