Nancy E. McIntyre, Ph.D.

The best salsa ever (adapted from Mark Miller’s fire-roasted tomato chipotle salsa recipe)

Makes about 4 cups


Cooking spray (like Pam)

1 Tbsp vegetable oil

2 lbs Roma (plum) tomatoes

1 large shallot, peeled and chopped

3 large cloves of garlic, minced

½ c (packed) cilantro leaves

2-3 chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped (I use 2 large ones or 3 small ones)

¼ cup red wine vinegar

1 tsp sugar

1 Tbsp salt


Cookie sheet


Sauté pan

Food processor or blender (I use a blender because it’s less fussy)


  1. Spray the cookie sheet with Pam. Halve the Roma tomatoes; place them cut-side up onto the cookie sheet. Place under a broiler set to low. Broil the tomatoes, watching them carefully to ensure that they don’t burn. A few black spots are fine. After they have started browning, flip them over and press with a spatula to release some juices. (I try to eliminate as much juice as possible at this time because I don’t want the finished salsa to be watery.) Broil, skin-side-up. Let the skin blacken slightly. Turn off the broiler and set the oven to bake at 325 F while you do steps 2-3.
  2. Heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the shallot and sauté until softened and slightly caramelized, about 10 minutes. Stir often to keep from overly browning—you want it soft, not crispy. Towards the end of the cooking process, add the garlic, stirring often to keep from browning. (Add more oil to keep from sticking, if necessary.) You just want to soften the garlic. Scrape mixture into the blender.
  3. Chop the cilantro; add to the blender.
  4. Remove the tomatoes from the oven; place half into the blender.
  5. Add the chopped chipotle peppers to the blender. Pulse until this mixture is finely chopped but not pureed.
  6. Add the remaining tomatoes as well as the vinegar, sugar, and salt. Pulse. Add more salt to taste.
  7. Leftovers freeze well.