Fall is the time to make delicious fresh salsas like this Hatch Green Chile Heirloom Tomato Salsa. It’s so flavorful and refreshing, and buying the ingredients is a great way to support your farmers’ markets before it gets too cold for an outdoor market. If you buy your salsa canned or bottled during the rest of the year, I hope you’ll get to try this for a real treat.
Support local produce
As a foodie in Denver, one of my favorite activities is to visit the South Pearl farmer’s market and ogle all the fresh local produce. The peaches are fabulous (in August and September) and would be famous, if very many of them made it out of Colorado. The plums and apples are also among the best I’ve ever had!
In addition to these sweet fruit, there are two savory fruits that I eat as much of in season as possible. One is the Hatch green chiles that you can watch roasting in big metal drums, like today. In case you can’t find your chiles already roasted like this, I have included directions for roasting. I bought those from Guerrero’s.
What is an Heirloom tomato?
The other savory fruit is vine-ripe Heirloom tomatoes, which I buy from Ela Family Farms (also the source of most of the fruit I mention – not sponsored). A really good Heirloom tomato is one of the best tastes I know. I think Heirloom tomatoes need very little adorning, and I hope you’ll check out my Heirloom tomato salad to see what I mean.
Heirloom tomatoes are passed down from season to season by saving the seeds. Farmers can select them for size or color, which is why heirlooms range in color from light yellow to green to purples and reds.
Why are heirloom tomatoes more expensive?
Heirlooms tend to be more expensive because they are not mass-produced and tend to soften quickly when picked, so there is some urgency to eat them at their peak. Well, at least I feel that urgency because when they’re gone, you have to wait almost another year.
Here I’ve combined these great tomatoes with Hatch chiles to make a salsa to enjoy on enchiladas or tacos, or just with chips. Most of what is in this bowl is the red/green heirloom tomatoes, with some bright yellow for color contrast. I buy the mild chiles and sometimes a small bag of medium, and leave the hot for others!
Heirloom tomatoes tend to be tender and sweet, and I’ve given some tips in the recipe about straining the juice and when/if to salt.
Whether you buy your chiles or roast them yourself, you’ll let them steam for a bit to loosen the skins. Then it’s easy to scrape the skins right off – I use a paring knife. I also remove the seeds and discard them.
Once you have cleaned and chopped the chiles, add them to the chopped tomatoes, red onions, serrano peppers and garlic.
Adjust the proportions of the tomatoes to chiles as you prefer. I find a 4:1 ratio of tomatoes to chiles is best. If you are serving the salsa right away, add sea salt to taste; if not, wait to salt it (see note).
Stir and spoon into a serving dish. Serve with corn chips for a gluten-free snack, or cassava chips if Paleo.
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #amealinmind on Instagram. I’d love to see what you come up with. Thank you so much!!
Other recipes you may enjoy
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Hatch Green Chile Heirloom Tomato Chunky Salsa
- 5 roasted Hatch chile peppers I used mild
- 3-4 pounds Heirloom tomatoes chopped fine
- ½ mild red onion about ¼ cup, finely chopped
- 1 serrano pepper finely minced (adjust to taste)
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro plus a small handful for garnish
- 1 teaspoon pressed garlic or 1 pinch garlic powder, or to taste
- ½ teaspoon salt to add at the end, see note
- For this recipe I used freshly roasted green chiles that I bought at the Farmer’s market. If you would like to roast your own, follow steps 2 and 3 below.
- Set oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source and preheat the oven's broiler. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil; add Hatch chile peppers.
- Cook under the preheated broiler until the skin of the peppers has blackened and blistered, 5 to 8 minutes. Place blackened peppers into a bowl and tightly seal with plastic wrap. Allow peppers to steam as they cool, about 20 minutes. Remove and discard skins.
- Scrape off the blackened skins of the peppers. Scrape out the seeds and discard (I don’t like the seeds in my salsas but you can leave some for spiciness if you like). Chop the peppers finely, about ¼ inch dice.
- Stir the chopped, roasted Hatch chile peppers, tomatoes, onion, cilantro, and garlic or garlic powder together for a chunky salsa. If the heirloom tomatoes are very juicy, strain the salsa by placing it in a metal mesh strainer. Don’t discard the resulting juice -it’s great to drink fresh!
- If you prefer a blended salsa, whizz the salsa in a food processor or blender until desired consistency is reached.
- About salt: Heirloom tomatoes are sweet, and the salsa needs salt. If you add it right away, though, it will pull more of the liquid out of the tomatoes. If I’m making this salsa ahead of time I wait to salt it until just before serving.
- Garnish with extra cilantro and serve with chips or any meal that’s good with salsa.
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