Chargrilled Tomato Salsa

In keeping with the theme of Mexican dips after the guacamole recipe from earlier this week, I give you the most famous of them all, the tomato salsa. Salsa, simply the Spanish and Italian word for sauce, has become synonymous in our vocabulary with the spicy tomato Mexican salsa but can mean anything from a salsa verde (green sauce) made with tomatillos, to a corn salsa with sweetcorn as the main component. It can be cooked or made using raw ingredients, be used as a condiment, or as a dip. It’s beauty is it’s versatility.


Use good quality vine tomatoes

You could of course take all the ingredients listed below, finely chop, and stir together for a raw salsa. It’s gives a lighter, crisper salsa but for me it’s the chargrilling that makes the difference here, elevating the flavours of each element with the char providing a smoky and slight bitter element that works so well. It also removes the harshness of the raw shallot and garlic, softening and mellowing the flavours for a more rounded taste experience. You can happily substitute red onion, or indeed yellow onion if you don’t have shallots at hand. There’s no need to worry to much about too exact amounts here. Tomatoes, garlic cloves, and shallots all vary in size so there’s a little freedom to be had here. If you like it more garlicky, add another clove, if you like it spicier, add another chilli, and so on.


Chargrilled Tomato Salsa Ingredients

When grilling, make sure to keep an eye on it. Ovens and grills vary and so while the instructions given are as accurate as possible it may differ slightly for you.


  • 350g, approx. 5 tomatoes, sliced into quarters
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 5 shallots, peeled and halved
  • 1 green chilli, stem removed (deseeded for less heat)
  • 3 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1-2 tsp. sea salt flakes
  • A small handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp. tablespoon fresh lime juice


  1. Preheat the grill to a high heat, placing the rack on the second to highest setting so as to leave some space between the heating element and your baking tray once it goes in under the grill.
  2. Place the tomatoes, garlic, shallots, the green chilli and vegetable oil into a bowl, season with 1 tsp. of salt and toss everything together before putting onto a baking sheet lined with aluminium foil.
  3. Grill for 12-15 minutes, making sure to keep an eye on the vegetables, until they are slightly blackened. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.
  4. Once cool add the entire contents of the bowl to a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Blend until just slightly chunky to retain texture. Transfer to a bowl and add the chopped coriander and 1 tbsp. of the fresh lime juice, stirring to combine. Taste and add more salt or lime juice if needed. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Grill until slightly blackened


Chargrilled Tomato Salsa

Chargrilled Tomato Salsa


Chargrilled Tomato Salsa

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