A good recipe for tomato salsa eluded me for quite a while, and I blame Doritos salsa. Their salsa has a nice thick sauce as well as lots of chunk. The flavour isn’t the best, I just wanted that thick sauce plus chunky bits, but with no rubbish ingredients and lots of fresh flavour.

I finally hit upon the answer from a salsa recipe in Keep It Vegan by Aine Cairlin. She uses roasted red peppers to thicken the sauce and they also add a nice charred flavour. I added in some fresh chopped tomatoes, red onion, lime and coriander and voila, recipe below.

Despite the peppers it still tastes really tomatoey, so don’t be put off if you don’t like peppers (unless you really hate them). Romano peppers don’t work that well for this as they aren’t very fleshy, meaning they get obliterated by the charring. Regular red bell peppers are best.

For The Sauce

2 medium red peppers
1 tomato (2½ oz/75g), chopped into thick slices

Cut the core out of the peppers and then cut in quarters lenghways. Roughly pull out most of the white ‘pith’ inside and tap out the seeds. Flatten the peppers and turn them with the skin on the top and fleshy part underneath. Place on a small-medium baking tray lined with foil. Roast under a hot grill until the skins go black and charred. Add the tomatoes five minutes before the end of cooking time.

Transfer the peppers and tomatoes to a small bowl, cover with a saucer and leave to soften and cool. Once you can handle them, remove the pepper skins. Leave the tomato skins on.

Blend the charred pepper and tomatoes together to a puree. A hand blender works fine, but if you use a high speed blender it really breaks the peppers and tomatoes down into a smooth sauce which goes a lovely bright orangey red colour. Pour this into a medium-sized bowl and set aside.

Add Some Chunk and More Flavour

2 large tomatoes, chopped (7 oz/200g)
½ small red onion, diced small and rinsed
1 lime, juiced – start with 1 tablespoon
2 round tablespoons (¼ cup/15g) chopped fresh coriander
½ teaspoon sea salt

Add all these ingredients to the puree, stir together and serve. Taste and if necessary add more lime. Bear in mind if you do this it will make the salsa more liquidy, make sure you stir it before serving.

Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to five days.

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