Roasted Red Pepper Salsa

I am having one of those days. As the day has gone on, I feel as though I've fallen more and more behind.  This post was supposed to be published hours ago.  The lawn was supposed to be mowed and the garden was supposed to be watered before I ran out of daylight.  The garden harvest was supposed to be processed and put away before I hit the Y a couple of hours ago.  Tomorrow's menu, cooking, and laundry, well, I better stop before I really start to feel bad!  If it was any other day of any other week, I probably would have just let it go, but it's Salsa Week and I can't let today end without sharing this Roasted Red Pepper Salsa with you!  

In fact, this recipe is actually pretty perfect for a day like today. From the growing of these peppers to the first attempt at this recipe, there have been a few lessons in things not going exactly as planned.
It all started with planting a few pepper seeds last March.  While my other pepper seedlings were taking off and growing like weeds, these seeds took the slow-as-molasses approach, creeping along at a painfully slow pace.  A few of them even germinated a remarkable 42 days after they were planted (and long after I had given up on them)!  Fast forward to last month, and the four pepper plants of this variety (Yum Yum Gold) that I was expecting to produce bright gold and orange mini bell peppers produced red peppers instead! 

And while they didn't turn out to be the super sweet peppers I was expecting to enjoy fresh, they have turned out to be a pretty good pepper to cook with.  These peppers have filled our kitchen with the wonderful aroma of roasted red peppers and have added good flavor and beautiful color to many dishes this summer.  
They have been so good, that the moment I saw this recipe, I knew I had to make it with these peppers.  So after carefully roasting a big pan of peppers, mincing garlic, and slicing up tomatoes and scallions, and processing it to the perfect, thick, stick-to-the-chip salsa, I was disappointed to find the flavor fell a little flat for my taste. But I was determined that all hope was not lost.  Using the reasoning that when it comes to salsa, you can't go wrong with adding a little more garlic, and then adjusting the amounts of tomato and onion to better balance out the rich flavor of the roasted peppers, my second attempt at this salsa turned out to be more of what I was looking for: a rich and hearty salsa that is perfect for late summer and early fall.

I guess sometimes it's not such a bad thing when things don't go exactly as planned!
Roasted Red Pepper Salsa
3-4 sweet bell peppers or the equivalent in mini bells (makes about 2 cups of roasted peppers)
1 hot chili pepper 
4 large roma tomatoes
6 scallions
3 large cloves of garlic, minced
Olive oil
Salt and fresh ground pepper

Wash all peppers (including the hot chili pepper - I used a Cyklon Polish Heirloom Pepper) and toss whole peppers in a little bit of olive oil.  Roast the peppers on a grill, grill pan, or cast iron skillet until all sides have a good char.  Transfer peppers into a glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap and cool for at least 10 minutes. 

Remove skins, stems, and seeds from peppers and roughly chop peppers. Combine peppers with roughly chopped tomatoes, scallions, and minced garlic in a food processor and pulse a few times until desired consistency is reached.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  

Recipe adapted from The Kitchen Gardener's Handbook from Timber Press

Two additional notes worth mentioning:  First, I was impressed with the customer service at Territorial Seed Company, who didn't miss a beat in offering a full refund when I notified them that the pepper seeds did not turn out to be what I was expecting.  Secondly, I want to thank Timber Press and Your Garden Show for The Kitchen Gardener's Handbook, a prize I earned in the Grow It Forward Heirloom Seed Contest.  Keep an eye out for an upcoming review of this great garden resource! 

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