Friday, April 2, 2010

roasted fennel & tomato salsa

Smokey, sweet, and spicy. The roasting mellows out the fennel's fennelness and sweetens it up.

Fire up a grill with two levels of heat. Cut a fennel bulb crosswise into 1/2" sections. Put some s&p in some olive oil and use it to lightly coat the fennel, 8-10 ripe tomatoes, and half a bulb or so of garlic with the pointy end cut off. Start them all on the hot side of the grill and then move them to the cooler side once they get some nice burnt bits. Put 4 dried cayenne peppers over the heat and keep them moving around till they're mostly blackened, then to the cool side with them as well. Cover the grill and let it get smokey. When the fennel is starting to get sorta clear and sweaty, and the tomatoes have all split their skins, remove them and the garlic to a bowl to get to handling temperature. Set the peppers aside too.

Peel the skins off the tomatoes and garlic, then finely chop them and the fennel and put them all together in a bowl. Finely chop an onion and add it, too. Grind the cayenne as fine as possible and add it to the mix. Season with salt and and the juice of a lime or two. If possible before serving, let this all sit for a few hours and think about what it has done.