Broil Your Veggies For Intense Oven-Roasted Salsa

While many store-bought salsas are fairly similar in color and composition, the word "salsa" actually translates to "sauce." As such, there are numerous varieties of the stuff known both north and south of the Rio Grande. Among the numerous different types of salsa recipes include red ones, green ones, cooked ones, raw ones, and ones made with different types of vegetables and fruits replacing the familiar tomatoes. There are even sugary salsas that are used as dessert toppings. The salsa of the day, however (that day being whatever day you're reading this recipe) is brought to you by your oven, although since this appliance cannot speak it is using Mashed developer Nathaniel Lee as its mouthpiece.

Apart from the involvement of the oven, this easy(ish) salsa recipe produces a sauce of a more or less standard type, if such a thing could be said to exist. It's made with expected ingredients such as tomatoes, chiles, onions, garlic, cilantro, and lime juice and also contains oil, oregano, cumin, chili powder, salt, and sugar in order to cover the taste spectrum. The fact that the first four ingredients are oven-roasted, though, helps to deepen their flavors. The result is a vegetable-forward salsa that Lee feels goes well with "grilled meats [and] great salads" and also recommends "use[ing] ... for a Mexican bruschetta,"

Broiling is the key to making roast vegetable salsa

The first step in salsa-making is to prep the vegetables (or fruits, if you want to be pedantic about the tomato's status). Peel and rough chop the onions and garlic, quarter the tomatoes, and slice up the cilantro, as well. Also, chop the chiles, but maybe wear gloves for this if you've chosen hot ones. While Lee tells us "You can use any peppers you like," even mild ones, he notes that if you're going with something more incendiary, you can "decrease spiciness [by cutting] out the seeds and the white veins." Once you've chopped the vegetables, put them all on a baking sheet except for the cilantro (which is technically an herb anyway). Lee offers some advice here, saying "It's very important you cover the chili pods with the tomatoes so they don't burn." Once the vegetables are arranged to your satisfaction, pour on the oil and sprinkle them with chili powder, cumin, oregano, and salt. Broil them until they are charred, which should take about 20 minutes.

After the broiling is done, the salsa still hasn't finished cooking. The vegetables' next stop is the blender, where they reunite with most (but not all) of the cilantro and are introduced to the sugar. After the blender, it's on to a pan on the stove where they'll simmer. The final step is to add the lime juice and remaining cilantro, then grab the chips and let the dunking commence.