Smoked tomato and char-grilled pepper salsa
9th January 2011

Smoked tomato and char-grilled pepper salsa

By Lauren Photography by Adam

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)


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  • 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.


  1. Mmmmmmm! And Happy New Year from the other side of the world…

  2. Oh wow, smoked tomatoes sound amazing! Grilled anything is fantastic so I can just imagine the combination of the peppers with the tomato.
    Another reason that I really need to get a tiny barbeque that will fit on our tiny porch!

  3. Love it!
    Adorable photos :)

  4. Lauren

    :) Thanks Miriam and a very Happy New Year to you too!

  5. Lauren

    Hi Mandy, yep I have to agree grilled anything is so good! Especially in the summer time :) Go the tiny barbeque, we just have a small one at home and it is perfect – fast to heat up and not too arduous to clean!

  6. Lauren

    Thanks Maja, Adam always does an amazing job with the photos!

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