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Red-Hot Roast Salsa

by . Featured in AT MY TABLE
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Introduction

While nothing quite beats my beloved Coriander/Cilantro and Jalapeño Salsa for ease, this Red-Hot Roast Salsa is scarcely difficult to make: you put everything - garlic cloves, red onions, chillies and bell peppers - on a baking sheet (or shallow baking tray, and it is essential it’s shallow) and leave it to roast in a hot oven until softened and charred, at which point you take a stick blender to it. It’s the char that makes all the difference, and I can’t have enough of this sweet, smoky and spicy salsa. Well, spicy is perhaps to underplay it: chillies, even of the same type, really do differ a lot in strength, so it can be difficult to calibrate the heat exactly but, with the number of chillies I use, this is either really fiery or really, really fiery. You can reduce the amount of chillies of course, but I like this to blow my head off.

While I first made this as a dip for tortilla chips, I must also recommend dolloping it alongside fried halloumi. Indeed, it makes – for fire-eaters – a wonderful all-round condiment, an incendiary ketchup to be splodged on whenever you’re seeking flame and flavour.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

While nothing quite beats my beloved Coriander/Cilantro and Jalapeño Salsa for ease, this Red-Hot Roast Salsa is scarcely difficult to make: you put everything - garlic cloves, red onions, chillies and bell peppers - on a baking sheet (or shallow baking tray, and it is essential it’s shallow) and leave it to roast in a hot oven until softened and charred, at which point you take a stick blender to it. It’s the char that makes all the difference, and I can’t have enough of this sweet, smoky and spicy salsa. Well, spicy is perhaps to underplay it: chillies, even of the same type, really do differ a lot in strength, so it can be difficult to calibrate the heat exactly but, with the number of chillies I use, this is either really fiery or really, really fiery. You can reduce the amount of chillies of course, but I like this to blow my head off.

While I first made this as a dip for tortilla chips, I must also recommend dolloping it alongside fried halloumi. Indeed, it makes – for fire-eaters – a wonderful all-round condiment, an incendiary ketchup to be splodged on whenever you’re seeking flame and flavour.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

Image of Nigella's Red-Hot Roast Salsa
Photo by Jonathan Lovekin

Ingredients

Makes: approx. 650ml / 2¾ cups

Metric Cups
  • 750 grams tomatoes (approx. 8 large-ish, halved across the equator)
  • 50 grams (4-5) red chillies
  • 1 large red onion (approx. 200g/7oz, peeled and cut into eighths)
  • 2 red peppers (de-seeded and each one cut into about 8 strips)
  • 4 fat cloves garlic (peeled)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes (plus more to taste)
  • 2 x 15ml tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1¾ pounds tomatoes (approx. 8 large-ish, halved across the equator)
  • 2 ounces (4-5) red chiles
  • 1 large red onion (approx. 200g/7oz, peeled and cut into eighths)
  • 2 red bell peppers (de-seeded and each one cut into about 8 strips)
  • 4 fat cloves garlic (peeled)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (plus more to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C Fan/425°F. Put the halved tomatoes cut-side up in a roasting tin.
  2. Arrange the whole red chillies around them, along with the red onion wedges, strips of red pepper and the peeled garlic cloves.
  3. Sprinkle with the salt, drizzle over the oil and roast in the oven for about 40 minutes, or until everything is softened, with some charred edges.
  4. Take out of the oven and leave for about 5 minutes, then carefully pull the stalks off the red chillies; they should come away easily.
  5. Transfer everything, including any juices, into a bowl and blitz with a stick blender, pulsing rather than blending continuously, so you can get the texture you want; I go for smoothish. Add salt to taste, and leave to cool before serving.
  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C Fan/425°F. Put the halved tomatoes cut-side up in a roasting tin.
  2. Arrange the whole red chiles around them, along with the red onion wedges, strips of red bell pepper and the peeled garlic cloves.
  3. Sprinkle with the salt, drizzle over the oil and roast in the oven for about 40 minutes, or until everything is softened, with some charred edges.
  4. Take out of the oven and leave for about 5 minutes, then carefully pull the stalks off the red chiles; they should come away easily.
  5. Transfer everything, including any juices, into a bowl and blitz with a stick blender, pulsing rather than blending continuously, so you can get the texture you want; I go for smoothish. Add salt to taste, and leave to cool before serving.

Additional Information

MAKE AHEAD / STORE:
Refrigerate, within 2 hours of making, in an airtight container for 5 days.

FREEZE:
Can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge.

MAKE AHEAD / STORE:
Refrigerate, within 2 hours of making, in an airtight container for 5 days.

FREEZE:
Can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge.

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