Get your spicy on with Roasted Habanero Carrot Salsa, an easy, make-ahead, mouth-watering salsa for all your dippin’ needs. So rich and flavorful, you’ll go back again and again for more! Vegan + Gluten Free. DISCLOSURE: This post is sponsored by Vitamix. Of course, as always, all opinions are my own.
I hear there’s a big game comin’ up this weekend, so I made us some spicy salsa with sweet, winter-kissed carrots from the farm. Y’all know I’m not a sports fan. But I’m happy to contribute in the food department where sports or any TV is involved.
I’m a team player. :D
My sister first introduced the idea of Roasted Habanero Carrot Salsa after trying it at a Mexican food restaurant in Austin, Tx. She convinced me it was something I needed to investigate since I love spicy things, especially when paired with sweeter veggies like sweet potatoes and winter squash. I was intrigued.
Upon my first trip to the farm this winter a few weeks ago, since reopening their barn doors, I spied a big bag of gorgeous carrots. I was completely smitten, so I grabbed them as my mind wandered to habaneros and soup.
Since I’d never worked with habanero before, I did a bit of reading and found in milder climates, they can set fruit year-round. Consistently picking the peppers signals the plant to produce more fruit.
So I set out to locate habaneros and make this salsa my sister told me about a reality. You could say I was on a mission! And what before my wondering eyes did appear… a box of habaneros, California-grown, at the Co-op, my dear.
Talk about simple pleasures. I had complete heart eyes and was like a kid in a candy store.
Although I’d never tried a habanero prior to this recipe, I was fearless simply because I love spicy food. The thought of a good mouth burn from a potent pepper makes me happy, even if I shed a few tears in the process.
One of my favorite tomato-based salsa recipes incorporates roasted veggies, so I knew I wanted to do the same with this Roasted Habanero Carrot Salsa. After roasting the veggies, I toss them into the new Vitamix Ascent A3300, add water, lime juice, olive oil, vinegar, salt and a pinch of sugar. Then I pulverize the ingredients.
I’ve been using my older Vitamix for almost 10 years and it consistently produces the creamiest, consistent purees. It is the most used appliance in our kitchen (save the refrigerator). So when Vitamix contacted me to help them introduce their new line, I was more than happy to say yes! The new Ascent doesn’t disappoint. It transforms veggies into a smooth, rich and creamy salsa with ease, just as I expected.
A Few Notes:
- Use gloved hands when handling the habaneros, then discard the gloves. Spreading the oils can be painful, especially if you have an eye itch.
- For full-on flavor, there’s no need to remove the seeds of the habanero post-roasting. Simply remove the stem and toss the peppers into the Vitamix. For a milder flavor (but still HOT!), remove the seeds and white ribs after roasting. This can be done under running water.
- A little salsa goes a long way!
- I use two habaneros in this recipe. Start with one for a milder (but still HOT!) salsa. Take it over the top, with three (at your own risk!).
- For a more diluted salsa to douse eggs or sprinkle on tacos, add more water until the desired consistency is reached.
I’d love to know if you’ve tried habanero or would you try habanero!? Please leave a comment below!
Roasted Habanero Carrot Salsa
Get your burn on with Roasted Habanero Carrot Salsa, an easy, make ahead, mouthwatering salsa for all your dippin' needs. So rich and flavorful, you'll go back again and again for more! Vegan + Gluten Free.
- 3 Garlic Cloves, deskinned
- 2 Tbs + 2 tsp Olive Oil, extra virgin, divided
- 1 (9oz or 250g) Large Carrot, quartered lengthwise
- 1/2 White Onion, quartered
- 2 Habanero Peppers
- 1 Lime
- 1 tsp Sea Salt
- 2 tsp White Vinegar
- 1/2 C + 2 Tbs (255g) Water, this varies, but is the max amount I used
- 1/4 tsp Evaporated Cane Sugar, optional depending on the sweetness of the carrots
Set oven rack to 1/3 top of oven and preheat oven to 425F (218C). Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Place the garlic cloves in a small piece of foil and add 2 tsp of olive oil. Wrap loosely and place on the sheet pan. Toss the carrot, and onion with two tsp of olive oil and arrange the veggies and peppers so that there is space between the veggies, as to not crowd them. Roast in the oven for 25 minutes turning the habaneros a few times so that all sides blister.
Decide if you want to keep the seeds and ribs of the habanero. If retaining the seeds and ribs, gently slice off the stem and add the peppers to the high speed blender (I use Vitamix) along with the remaining olive oil, garlic, carrot, onion, lime, salt, and vinegar. Add half the water and increase as needed as you begin to blend. If removing the ribs and seeds, after roasting and the peppers are cool enough to handle, use gloved hands to slice open the pepper and remove the seeds and ribs. Holding the peppers under running water makes this easier. Add the sugar now or test after salsa is purred to see if it's desired. Puree the mixture using the tamper to push the mixture into the blades. Stop and scrape down the container several times. Puree until a smooth texture is achieved. For a thinner puree, add more water, a few tablespoons at a time and blend until the desired consistency is reached.
Serve with corn chips and cooling veggies like celery, green bell pepper, jicama and cucumber.
Store in a lidded container, in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. * (see note)
The salsa tends to thicken in the refrigerator. Prior to serving, blend it again until a desired consistency is reached.
I referred to Rick Bayless for developing this recipe.