Smoked tomato and char-grilled pepper salsa
For Christmas my partner and I bought ourselves a charcoal barbeque. After spending a (delightful) afternoon assembling the kitset creation and trying to follow the less-than-helpful instructions, we had worked up quite an appetite. Before the dreaded hungry-anger (hanger) could take hold we got cooking, creating a smokey feast perfect for a kiwi summer! I am not a fan of bland, store bought barbeque sauce, and wanted to create something that would be great mates with all kinds of barbequed meat, so I experimented with smoking tomatoes and char-grilling peppers, arriving at this scrumptious salsa. We served it up alongside barbequed, shredded chicken thighs in soft flour tortillas. It is also great as a dip with corn chips, or to top off a perfectly cooked steak.
Yields approx. 2 cups
- 500g tomatoes
- 3 medium-sized red peppers
- 1 red chilli
- 1 green chilli
- Olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Finely gated zest and juice of 2 limes
- ¼ cup pitted kalamata olives, very finely diced
- 5 stalks spring onion, finely diced
- ¼ cup fresh coriander, finely chopped
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- Salt, pepper, brown sugar to taste
- Wood chips for smoking (I used Manuka)
- This salsa is great made on a charcoal barbeque to get really deep, smokey flavours.
- 1. With a sharp knife make a small ‘x’ incision on the bottom of each tomato. (This will make skinning them easy later.) Rub the red peppers and chillies with a little olive oil.
- 2. Smoke tomatoes for between 45 minutes and 1 hour. Time required will depend on the size and intensity of your barbeque. They should be cooked but not mushy, with a delicate smoked flavour.
- 3. Blacken the chillies and peppers on the barbeque. Place in a bowl and cover tightly with cling film. Set aside to cool.
- 4. Once cool enough to handle, core and skin the red peppers, then finely chop. Core, skin and de-seed the chilli peppers while wearing protective gloves. Mince.
- 5. Peel and core tomatoes and roughly chop into a bowl. Add remaining salsa ingredients and mix well. Season to taste – a sprinkling of brown sugar works a treat if your tomatoes are not super sweet.
- Serve at room temperature with barbequed meats or as a dip with corn chips and sour cream. Keeps well in the fridge for up to a week.