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Grilled Tomato and Habanero Salsa (Chiltomate)

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Total Time: 28 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


Grilled Tomato and Habanero Salsa (Chiltomate) recipe. Grilled fresh tomatoes and super-hot habanero peppers make a fiery salsa.


  • 2 pounds of roma tomatoes, cored and halved
  • 1 habanero chile, stemmed
  • 1/2 medium onion, cut into 1/2 inch rings
  • 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt or 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 large cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt (or more if it needs it)


  1. Preheat the grill: Set the grill up for direct medium heat. On my Weber Summit, this means preheating with all the burners set to high for 15 minutes, brushing the grate clean, then turning the burners down to medium heat.
  2. Grill the tomatoes, habanero  and onion: Sprinkle the tomatoes, habanero, and onion with 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Place on the grill over direct medium heat, with the tomatoes skin side down. Grill for 4 minutes, or until the tomato skins are blackening and the onion and pepper are browned. Flip everything and grill for another 4 minutes, until the tomatoes are starting to soften and the onion and pepper are browned on the other side. Remove to a and rest for five minutes to cool down.
  3. Puree the salsa: Drop the garlic cloves into a running food processor (or blender), and process until the garlic is completely minced. Turn off the processor, add the thyme, onions, and habanero pepper, and pulse with one second pulses until everything is minced - about 5 pulses.Peel the blackened skin from the tomatoes. This doesn't have to be perfect - a little bit of blackened skin left is OK. Pour the tomatoes into the food processor with any remaining juice, and add the 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt. Run the processor until completely smooth, scraping down the sides if necessary. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt as needed. (If the salsa tastes bland or watery, that means it needs more salt.)
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Category: Grilling
  • Cuisine: Mexican