This Roasted Green Tomato Salsa recipe is perfect for days when you crave restaurant style salsa but would rather make fresh salsa in your own kitchen. We always prefer homemade salsa over store-bought and typically make a traditional red salsa. However, we recently created this recipe because of the unexpected abundance of green tomatoes that came into our lives.
I’ll quickly recap how we ended up with so many green tomatoes this summer. This is only our second year to have a summer garden. Last year we got several rounds of gorgeous red tomatoes before the neighborhood squirrels realized how great our tomatoes taste straight from the vine. When we found the first tomato on the ground with squirrel bites all over it we hoped it was just an isolated incident, but we just kept finding more each day.
At that point, we started to do some research about what would possibly keep the squirrels out of our garden without having to build a giant cage around our garden bed. Because let’s be honest, a giant chicken wire cage is not the most attractive yard decor. We tried sprinkling ground cayenne pepper to make the garden too spicy. No luck. Then we added tiny, prickly pine cones to make the garden too uncomfortable for them to walk around. They just kept coming. We became too frustrated to keep fighting. We decided to be grateful for the several gorgeous rounds of tomatoes we did get and pull up the plants.
Flash forward to this summer when we were so naive to believe we could cross our fingers and hope that the squirrels would be dumber and less hungry this year. We didn’t build a cage, so we didn’t get a single red tomato before the squirrels found them. Obviously, we are the ones to blame for not learning our lesson. But boy was it disappointing. So again we are trying to win by not fighting back but instead embracing our green tomatoes and making them into something worth blogging about.
Josh made some tasty fried green tomatoes and we were pretty pleased with the results. But we were so into this fresh salsa that we had to share it with you first. And it’s just so easy to make. The first step is to cut up the veggies, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and pop them in the oven to roast. Because we roast them at such a high temperature, the roasting process doesn’t take very long. Just 15-20 minutes depending on the size of your veggie pieces. What you gain from roasting is a smoother, darker flavor instead of the sharpness that some fresh salsas have from the flavors of the raw onion, garlic and tomatoes.
I should mention that you can definitely use tomatillos instead of green tomatoes if you are looking to make this recipe with store-bought tomatoes.
Once the veggies are tender and have started to blister slightly, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool down a bit. I will warn you that the aroma is going to be pretty overwhelming (in a good way) and your house might smell like your favorite Mexican restaurant. You are welcome!
Then the veggies get thrown in the food processor with the lime juice, cilantro, sugar, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth and add more salt or pepper if needed. I always find myself adding more salt and maybe even a little extra cilantro because it’s my weakness. Then you can store the salsa in sealed container for several days, if it even lasts that long. Salsa has a magical way of disappearing quickly. Try it and see for yourself.
Oh, and please share any tricks you’ve learned for keeping pests out of your garden. Obviously, we’re still working on that issue.
- 5 medium green tomatoes, halved
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 jalapenos, halved and seeds removed
- 1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ bunch of fresh cilantro
- 2 limes, juiced
- ¼ teaspoon sugar
- Heat the oven at 475 degrees and cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the tomatoes, garlic, jalapenos, and onion on the lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in the preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until the veggies are tender and slightly blistered.
- Allow the veggies to cool slightly. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the roasted veggies with the juice of 2 limes, cilantro, sugar and generous amount of salt and pepper. Blend until mixture is smooth. Taste and add more salt if needed (we definitely did!).