The ancho chilli, a dried red poblano chilli, has a sweet, mild and fruity flavour that teams up well with tomatoes to make a rich fruity salsa.
1 dried ancho chilli 2 medium-large vine tomatoes 2 cloves unpeeled garlic Flaky sea salt 1-2 Tbsp lime juice
1 Soak ancho chilli in hot water for 2 hours, or until soft. Drain well. Remove stem and chop roughly.
2 Blacken tomatoes and garlic in the embers of a barbecue grill or over a gas flame. Start with tomatoes and put them right in the embers or flame of a gas burner. Turn with tongs as they blacken, then transfer to a plate as they are done. Spear garlic cloves on a metal skewer and cook over the embers or flame until the papery skin turns a deep brown. Cool.
3 Remove most of the blackened skin from tomatoes (a little charring gives the sauce its customary bitter edge), cut into quarters, cut out cores and flick out seeds.
4 Peel garlic and chop coarsely, then crush in a mortar with a pestle, adding a few large pinches of salt. Add chopped ancho and crush to a paste with garlic. Add tomatoes and crush to a lumpy salsa. Stir in one tablespoon lime juice, taste, then add a little more lime juice or salt to sharpen and season.
5 Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
Crushing the ingredients for this tomato ancho salsa draws out a more intense flavour, but failing a mortar and pestle, whiz everything briefly in a food processor. For milder heat, remove seeds before chopping.
Photography by Aaron McLean http://www.aaronmclean.com