We will make a very simple roasted salsa Roja (red salsa) cooked in an air fryer for today's recipe. This recipe is better than what you will find at most Americanized Mexican restaurants. The best part is you can adjust it to your taste. If you are like my Wife and think cilantro is soapweed, then leave it out.
This is an updated recipe with better pictures and more information that I have learned from making this recipe several times.
As a disclaimer, The folks at iKich sent me this OMORC 6 quart Air Fryer to try out and use in a YouTube video. I also have some affiliate links to help cover the cost of running the blog.
I did try to make a video at the same time I did the photoshoot. But that did not go so well. So the recipe in my YouTube video will be slightly different than the pictures. But both batches of salsa were good. But the way I cooked everything on the video is probably a better way to make it.
Now we also have an Instant Pot Instant Vortex Plus Air Fryer, and that is now the air fryer that I like to use for this recipe. Further down, I will give tips for both kinds of air fryers.
Tomatoes: Red Salsa requires tomatoes. Since Roma tomatoes are consistent year-round, that is what I will use today. But definitely looking forward to fresh homegrown tomato season.
Peppers: This is where you adjust the spicy level. This recipe is with jalapenos, but serranos are also good. The recipe will call for two jalapenos. Also, the seeds and membranes that hold the seeds have a lot of heat. Let your heat tolerance be your guide.
Garlic: If you cook the whole head, you can have some roasted garlic leftover. But it does cook more even if you break it up. Just leave the skin on the cloves and take them out when turning everything over.
Onion: Cooking the onion takes away some of the raw bite. After cooking, let it cool down, peel off the skin and use the outside layers. In the pictured batch, I had a large onion. In the video, I used a small one. Small ones work better. Even with a small one, only about half of the onion was used.
Now I do prefer to cut the onion into quarters before cooking. This shortens cooking time, and more surface area gets roasted.
Salt: The salsa needs some salt. If you really want to bring out the flavor, add a pinch of MSG. I do not use it since it is suspected to be a gout trigger.
Cilantro: AKA Soapweed. My wife hates it, and I love it. What I do is make the salsa without the cilantro. Take her portion out, then add cilantro to mine. Cilantro never goes close to her salsa.
The cooking process is fairly simple.
For the basket type air fryers: Place everything into the air fryer. Set the temperature to 400F and the timer to 12 minutes. I do not bother preheating the air fryer. After 12 minutes, flip over the peppers and onion. If using a whole head of garlic, flip it over. If using cloves of garlic, take them out. The tomatoes, I leave them alone.
Put the basket back in and set the temperature to 400F and timer to 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove the basket and let everything cool down.
For the Instant Pot type with a rack, I let it preheat to 400F. Put the rack in with the ingredients and cook for 10 minutes. Yes, the Instant Pot one cooks a lot faster.
If you cooked the onion whole, peel the onion and cut off some of the outside layers. To speed up the time in the food processor, roughly chop the onions. But now that I peel and cut it into quarters and head of time, the onion goes in the food processor the same time as everything else.
Remove the skin from the roasted garlic and add it.
Chop up the cilantro and add it (or set it aside until the non-soapweed batch is made).
For the peppers, you can peel them or leave the skin on. It's up to you. I prefer to peel, but it's not required. Give the peppers a rough chop, either leaving the seeds in out take them out. If you leave them, expect more burn.
Place the tomatoes into the food processor (careful they are soft). Before, I would remove the skins; now, I leave them on. The choice is up to you.
Add your salt.
The recipe says to use a food processor, but you can use a blender. Using a food processor keeps a bright color. Using a blender will turn the salsa slightly pink.
Add the tomatoes, garlic, onion, peppers, salt, and cilantro to the food processor. Pulse a few times to break everything up, then scrape down the bowl if you need to. For me, the onion always wants to stick to the sides.
After scraping down the bowl, process until it is your desired consistency. I like some texture to my salsa.
Let the salsa cool down then it's ready to eat. The salsa is better after resting for an hour or so. This lets all the flavors come together.
My video of this recipe on YouTube.
- 6 Roma Tomatoes
- 1/2 Cup Onion
- 2 each jalapeno peppers
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup cilantro loosely packed
In the Air Fryer
- Place everything into the air fryer. Set the tempature to 400F and the timer to 12 minutes.
- After 12 minutes flip over the peppers and onion. If using a whole head of garlic flip it over. Remove the garlic cloves. The tomatoes I just leave them alone.
- Put the basket back in and set the tempature to 400F and timer to 10 minutes. After 10 minutes remove the basket and let everything cool down.
- Peel the onion and cut off some of the outside layers. To speed up the time in the food processor roughly chop the onions.
- Remove the skin from the roasted garlic.
- Chop up the cilantro.
- For the peppers you can peel them of leave the skin on. It's up to you. I prefer to peel but its not required. Give the peppers a rough chop either leaving the seeds in out take them out.
- Tomatoes they will be very soft when you remove them from the basket. Use a large spoon it works best. While they are in the spoon I like to remove the skins and where the stem was. Save the juice.
In the food processor
- To the food processor add the tomatoes, garlic, onion, peppers, salt and cilantro. Pulse a few times to break everything up.
- Scrape down the side of the bowl.
- After scraping down the bowl process until is is your desired consistency.
- Let rest for one hour.