Roasted Poblano-Tomato Salsa with Fresh Thyme

  • Active Time 10m
  • Total Time 25m
  • Rating ****

Makes 3 cups (Serves 24)

Though this salsa is a close cousin of the Roasted Jalapeno-Tomato Salsa, its flavors are more mellow (more roasted chiles but ones with a richer, less bitey flavor), and its consistency is saucier (you'll notice the addition of tomato puree). Red onion adds more sweetness than white, and the touch of thyme adds a gentle complexity that you'd never get with cilantro alone. The result: a salsa that easily doubles as a sauce. Use the pulpier plum tomatoes rather than round ones for the sauciest consistency.


  • 1 pound (6 to 7 medium) ripe plum tomatoes
  • 2 medium (5 ounces) fresh poblano chiles
  • 1/2 small (2 ounces) red onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/2 cup good-quality canned tomato puree
  • About 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, loosely packed
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons salt


Heat the broiler. Lay the whole tomatoes and poblanos out on a broiler pan or baking sheet. Set the pan as close to the broiler as your oven allows and broil for about 6 minutes, until darkly roasted and splotchy black on one side. With a pair of tongs, flip over the tomatoes and chiles and roast the other side. The poblanos may be completely blistered and blackened before the tomatoes are-remove them as soon as they are done.

Turn the oven down to 425 degrees F. Separate the onion into rings. On a similar pan or baking sheet, mix together the onion and garlic. Roast in the oven, stirring every few minutes, until the onions are richly browned (they'll look soft, even have a touch of char on some of the edges) and the garlic feels soft and is browned in spots, about 15 minutes total. Cool to room temperature.

If you don't like a rustic-textured salsa or if you're canning the salsa, pull the peels from the cooled tomatoes and cut out the "cores" where the stems were attached, working over your baking sheet to collect the juices. Pull the peels off the chiles, then pull out the stem and the seed pod. Tear the poblanos open and rinse quickly to remove all the stray seeds. Chop into 1/4-inch pieces and place in a large bowl.

In a food processor, pulse the onion and garlic until moderately finely chopped; scrape down to ensure even chopping. Scoop into the bowl with the chopped poblanos. Without washing the processor, coarsely puree the tomatoes with their juice, then add them to the bowl. Stir in the tomato sauce puree and enough water to give the salsa a rather light, saucy consistency. Stir in the cilantro and thyme. Taste and season with salt to preference before serving. Salsa will also keep refrigerated for use within 5 days.

CREDIT: From SALSAS THAT COOK by Rick Bayless with JeanMarie Brownson & Deann Groen Bayless. Copyright 1998 by Richard Lane Bayless. Reprinted by permission of Fireside, an imprint of Simon and Schuster.

Serving Size = 2 tablespoons

Recipe reprinted by permission of Simon and Schuster. All rights reserved.

RecID 1310

nutrition information per serving

12 calories; 0g total fat; 0mg cholesterol; 198mg sodium; 3g carbohydrates; 1g fiber; 0g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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