Texas Living

Roasted corn and salsa recipe

By Gina Franklin 5.15.13

One tradition that is synonymous with Texas is Tex-Mex food, and the most celebrated part of any Tex-Mex meal is the salsa. At one time, if you asked someone what salsa is, they would have told you it is the red sauce that arrives with your chips.

The street taco trend has changed what most people consider salsa, however. You have options on everything from level of heat, to consistency, to color, which is probably why salsa has surpassed ketchup as the top-selling condiment in the United States.

I know what you are thinking, “It just seems like a lot of work to make something that I can buy at the grocery store, already made, and in my favorite flavor,” right?  It might be a little work, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be a lot of work. You can make really great salsa with just tomatoes, onions, peppers, and fresh herbs. Personally, I like a chunky salsa, something with a little kick and a hint of sweet and sour.

I am lucky to live in a town that has some great local produce markets and two different farmers markets twice a week. Since I knew that I wanted to make salsa, but wasn’t sure what kind, I just wandered around until something caught my eye. I found a great deal on some corn on the cob and thought that roasted corn and garlic salsa sounded incredible! Here’s how to make it:


Cilantro Lime Butter

Like any recipe, some steps can be done the day before, including roasting the corn. Before you start shucking, mix up a flavorful butter, such as this simple, cilantro lime butter.

  • Start with one stick of softened butter in a bowl
  • Then chop ¼ cup of cilantro leaves and put in the bowl with the butter
  • Juice one medium lime (or 2 small) directly over the bowl


Roasting The Corn

Before roasting, remove the corn husks, rub cilantro lime butter all over the ears, and add a clove of chopped garlic before wrapping in aluminum. Your salsa will need about three ears of corn, so add a few more if you’d like some for supper.

Put your bundles o’ yumminess on a sheet pan and slide it into a 400-degree oven for 30 minutes. When your kitchen starts to smell like heaven, the corn is probably done and they should look like this photo.


Gina’s Roasted Corn and Garlic Salsa

Fresh Ingredients

  • Kernels off 3 ears of roasted corn
  • 2 ½  lbs. of tomatoes,
  • 1 large green onion, chopped
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 2 large jalapenos, chopped, seeds and all
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • Juice of 3 small limes

Dry Ingredients

Season to taste, but start with 1 tsp. each of:

  • Kosher salt
  • Cayenne
  • Cumin
  • Garlic powder


Prep The Tomatoes

Chop a half-pound of tomatoes into ½-inch pieces. The other 2 pounds will be boiled and peeled.

  • As water boils in a large pot, cut small “Xs” on the bottom of each tomato.
  • Place tomatoes in boiling water, and roll them around just until the skin begins to pull away.
  • Drain; return tomatoes to the same pot. They are hot, but the skin peels right off.
  • Once they are skinless and are still hot, smash them with a hand mixer, which creates a lot of the juice for cooking the salsa.

The tomato mixture is the base of the salsa. Once there is plenty of tomato juice from blending, return pot to medium low heat. This is a thick and chunky salsa, so don’t worry about cutting up ingredients too finely.

Add red onion and jalapeno, which takes longer to soften, and garlic for flavor.

Simmer 30 minutes before adding green onions, cilantro, lime juice, corn, and dry seasonings. This gives the peppers and onions time to cook down a little. Once you add everything, let it simmer long enough to reduce the liquid to the consistency you want it, probably about 30 minutes.

After it has reduced, remove from heat and let cool for 30 minutes and then chill at least 4 hours in the refrigerator.


The Final Product

The best part is being able to go in the kitchen and fix a snack that looks like it came from a great Tex-Mex restaurant. Served cold with some great chips and lime, it is worth a little extra work.