Life has definitely changed in the Badger Girl/Manatee household. One of the biggest changes is the new importance to the here and now. Anything I attempt to do I have to be able to drop at a moment’s notice. Gone are the days of leisurely cooking a delicious and healthy dinner while sipping wine and listening to jazz music. Cooking has become a sport. I am either juggling a crying baby and a husband who actually wants to have an adult conversation (something I don’t take lightlly nor an opportunity I ever want to miss) while trying to cram a 20 minute prep into 5 minutes or I am playing red light/green light cooking.

Let me demonstrate.

Red Light/Green Light Salsa Making

Green light: Baby G is happy and gurgling away, telling me some wild story that I somehow missed in our last 8 hours together. As I nod and ask her probing questions (then what happened? you don’t say? Well, I never!), I get out the veggies, the pan, the aluminum foil, and….

Red light: Something has gone horribly wrong! I missed the punchline and Baby G is not happy. Funny voices and cooing ensues and then….

Green light: Baby G is content again. I chop the tomatoes and onions. I have almost assembled my pan of veggies and then I can’t find the d*!& garlic. I am tearing through the pantry and the fridge. Baby G picks up on my state and begins to cry. I manage to peel the garlic and entertain her at the same time. Step 1 done:

5 cups tomatoes, 5-7 tomatilos, 2 white onions, 3 jalapenos, 3 cloves of garlic

5 cups tomatoes, 5-7 tomatilos, 2 white onions, 3 jalapenos, 3 cloves of garlic

Red light: For Baby G, minor irritation has given way to being just plain pissed off.  I abandon the veggies and feed her. 

Green light: While I am burping Baby G, I turn on the broiler, throw the veggies in, and set the timer for 15 minutes.

Red light: 20 minutes go by before I can back, but that just means the veggie are more charred.

Green light: I set down Baby G (who has still not gotten over the garlic fiasco) and quickly flip the peppers and other veggies that need flipping. I throw the veggies back in, set the timer for another 15 minutes, and pick her up before the incident has escalated. In some miracle of miracles, I am able to take the veggies out of the oven as the timer goes off.


Red light: We have officially hit the witching hour for Baby G. As much as I would like to proceed, I have to leave my perfectly charred veggies and keep her happy.

Green light: We made it through witching hour! My happy baby is back and gurgling away, telling me her side of the story with squeals, grunts, and arm waving. (I can tell she has my flair for the dramatic already). As I converse with her (with squeals, grunts, and arm waving), I juice one lime, and measure out 2 tablespoons of sugar. I throw the juice, the sugar, and the veggies in the food processor….


Yellow light: I see a frown crease Baby G’s forehead. I cover her cheeks with kisses as a diversion and then quickly cover the food processor bowl with plastic wrap….


Green light: I throw on the cover, hit the button, and take a deep breath. As the machine whirs, I tickle Baby G, and voila! Salsa!


Red light: The machine was just too much. She is crying and I leave my salsa waiting to be jarred on the table. It’s not until Manatee gets home that we can do an official taste test and pour into a waiting Mason jar.



Easiest Salsa Ever
This is a combination of the Roasted Tomato Salsa and the Roasted Salsa Verde from my book, Homemade Snacks and Staples. It require minimal chopping, effort, and attention span, while packing maximum flavor.

Write a review


5-6 cups tomatoes, halved, quartered, or left whole (depending on the size of tomato)
5-7 tomatillos, peel, washed, and halved or left whole (depending on size)
1-3 jalapeno peppers, stems removed
2 medium white onions, halved and peeled
3 garlic cloves, peeled
juice from 1 lime
2 tablespoons sugar

1. Line a rimmed cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Place tomatoes, tomatillos, jalapenos, onions, and garlic on pan.
2. Turn oven on Broil (500 dgF). Broil veggies for 15-20 minutes until skins are starting to become charred. Flip any veggies that need flipping (peppers, tomatoes, tomatillos). Broil an additional 10-15 minutes until skins are charred.
3. Let cool for 2 minutes to 1 hour (depending on your availability). Pour into a food processor fitted with a chopping blade. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and process until desired consistency (I like mostly smooth with a few chunks). Let cool to room temperature before sampling or serving. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Because you don’t remove the ribs or seeds from the peppers, this salsa has the potential to be very spicy. If you are very spice adverse (like my Dad), replace jalapenos with sweet peppers or poblanos.
Don’t forget to cover the food processor bowl with plastic wrap: this is a huge time saver when it comes to clean up!

Adapted from Homemade Snacks and Staples
Adapted from Homemade Snacks and Staples
Badger Girl Learns to Cook by Kimberly Aime


Recipe Review:

So why is the Easiest Salsa Ever?

Very little cutting and no chopping!

You can make this salsa while seriously multitasking, whether you are entertaining a small child, talking on the telephone, taking blog pictures, or cleaning your kitchen. I have made it while doing all these things and one time while doing all these things at one time.

And I guess that’s the end of the why portion. Now let’s talk about the actual salsa.

It’s sweet, tangy, smoky, and bursting with fresh garden flavor. It’s my go-to summer salsa. As we move into the craziness that is the school year and the year end tomato harvest, I hope you give it a shot.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email