1 pound (6 to 7 medium) plum tomatoes (ripe)
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 chilies, 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 the salsa and season it with salt, pushing the flavors toward the upper levels. If you're planning to use your salsa right away, simply pour it into a bowl and it's ready, or refrigerate it covered and use within 5 days.
Active Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 25 Minutes
Yield: 24 Servings