Blackened Salsa

Blackened Salsa

Flecks of charred chile, shallot and tomato dot the surface of this vibrant, full-flavored sauce.  Sweet.  Spicy.  So aromatic.  The star attraction of my Blackened Salsa?  Hatch chiles.  Hailing from Hatch, New Mexico, these chiles are one of my favorite seasonal ingredients.  Available from mid August to late September, hatch chiles are a spicy-sweet capsicum that truly have a distinct flavor.  It’s similar to an Anaheim chile, but with the volume turned up.  Hatch chiles benefit from a good fire-roasting as the smoke rounds out the chile’s sweet heat.  Plus, your kitchen will be filled with the most intoxicating aroma while the chiles blister and blacken under the broiler.  It’s soooooo good.  Continue reading for the recipe.

Hatch Chiles

I first started experimenting with hatch chiles two years ago.  I roasted a number of chiles over an open flame, then coarsely chopped with onions and garlic to create a bold burger topping.  The results?  Absolutely scrumptious.  I was hooked.  Now, when hatch chile season comes around, I buy a huge bag of them from the market, and use them in as many ways possible.  This year… Blackened Salsa.

If you can’t find hatch chiles at your local market (Whole Food for sure has them), you can use jalapenos or Anaheims for this recipe (or a combination of the two!).  Leftover hatch chiles can be roasted, peeled and frozen for future use.  This is exactly what I’ll be doing this weekend :)

Hatch chiles, tomatoes, shallots and garlic. Making Blackened Salsa

5.0 from 1 reviews
Blackened Salsa
Recipe type: Sauce
Serves: About 1 cup
  • 2 hatch chiles (you can use jalapeños or anaheim chiles instead)
  • 2 medium shallots, peeled but left whole
  • 6 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 1 pound cherry tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar (red wine vinegar works well here too)
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice, plus more to taste
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 cup water, plus more for thinning
  1. Set a rack in the oven as close as possible to the broiler. Preheat broiler on high.
  2. Place hatch chiles, shallots, garlic, and cherry tomatoes on a rimmed baking sheet. Set the baking sheet under the broiler and cook until everything is nicely blackened all over. Take the pan out occasionally and flip the vegetables to ensure even blackening. This process took me almost 20 minutes.
  3. Take the pan from the broiler and set aside the hatch chiles and garlic. Place remaining vegetables in a food processor and let cool. Once the chiles and garlic are cool enough to handle, remove the stems from the chiles and slice open. Scrape out seeds and set them aside. Place the chiles in the food processor. Peel the skins from the garlic. Discard skins and place garlic in with the rest of the vegetables.
  4. Once cooled, pulse the vegetables a few times, then add sherry vinegar, lime juice, kosher salt and water. Continue pulsing until everything is well combined. The mixture should be chunky.
  5. Next, taste for seasoning. If you feel that the flavors need a little lift, add more salt (I added a few more pinches) and lime juice. If you want to bump up the heat level of the salsa, gradually add hatch chile seeds (I added about 3/4 of the reserved seeds). If you find that your salsa is too thick, thin out with a little water. Store salsa in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 weeks.

Related articles and recipes:

Hatch Valley Chile Festival

Green Chile and Pepperoni Pizza

Green Chile Cheese Steak

Drunken Salsa

Hatch Chile Margarita


  1. says

    I love how you left the chile skins in there! Almost every recipe with hatch chiles that I’ve seen asks you to peel the skins off. But why? I love all that roasty smoky flavor! I think I need to head to Sprouts and pick up some of these too :)

    • Brandon Matzek says

      Yeah, the flavor of the blackened skins really works here. Perhaps it might be too strong of a flavor in other recipes?

  2. brent says

    I have leftover shallots and fresh roasted Hatch, so the universe brought me to your wonderful website. I’m already re-imaging the Green Goddess Guac recipe in my own much goodness here.

    but this is about the salsa.

    2 Questions:

    1) You ever mistakenly get skin from thicker peppers into your salsa? It’s the consistency of a contact lens and in-edible. I’ve skinned lots of peppers for recipes by blackening. Please assure me I can take you at your word to leave the skins on. (Did the act of roasting the pepper–albeit blackening—change the texture of the skin from inedible to edible? The science would dictate the char is now skin without its moisture? Never tried it.)

    2) Why do so many salsa recipes (in Internet land) lately suggest vinegar? Aren’t the tomatoes and lime acidic (and tasty) enough? I’ve never followed a vinegar instruction in a recipe, and probably won’t start, but what’s up with this flourish? Seems I see it a lot. I guess, to be honest, I’m asking you to convince me.

    Respectfully asking for insight before I make this, thank you much, Brent

    • Brandon Matzek says

      Hi Brent! Charring the skins does fix the texture issue. They go from that rubbery texture to crisp and black. When mixed in with the rest of the salsa, the skins give the sauce a slight smoky flavor. I added the vinegar to get a more complex acidic flavor. You could certainly just use lime juice. I like to add multiple acids to my vinaigrettes too. Lemon juice with sherry vinegar. Balsamic and red wine vinegar. (to name just a few possibilities) It’s an extra easy step that adds a nice complexity to the finished sauce. Enjoy!!

      • Brent says

        Hi Brandon. Made this a half hour ago. Charred skins left on. Excellent as promised. Wow. The shallots function much different than the normal white onion. This is a true sauce for slopping on top of meals as well as chips. Sans vinegar, but did include my personal standby: a fistful of cilantro stems. The Hatch and the shallots are the star here–rich and smoky and tasty. Thank you for your response.


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