Charred Corn Salsa with Hatch Chiles

I confess that I discovered hatch chiles few years ago, when Whole Foods in my area started selling them. Ever since I bought my first batch and roasted them, I have been in love with these tasty chiles. They are an essential ingredient for my charred corn salsa, something I make throughout summer!

It’s That Time of Year: Hatch Chile Season!

Every year somewhere around end of August to beginning of September, I anxiously wait for local stores for their shipment of these peppers. Hatch chiles’ popularity have grown exponentially in the last few years and they sell out fast, which is why I always stock up. Hatch peppers, grown in city of Hatch, New Mexico, are typically not as spicy as Jalapenos and can be mild and sweet, but I had some that were pretty spicy which I don’t mind!. Down side to them is that have a very short season and they will disappear from stores by the end of September.

Roasted Hatch Chiles Make Great Condiment

Hatch chiles are versatile and its’ sweet, spicy flavors add additional dimension to soups, stews, marinades and I always add them to my Salsa Verde. I typically roast my batch on my outside grill, which is super quick and easy. I will roast dozen or so peppers at a time with drizzle of olive oil and they’re done in about 10-12 minutes. Once cooled, you need to remove stems, skin and seeds and I highly recommend you use gloves to do this so the oil from the peppers do not burn or irritate your skin.

Any portion you can’t consume right away, just pack them up in a plastic bag and put it your freezer. Roasted hatch chiles will keep for a year in freezer which means you can enjoy them all throughout the year!

Corn Salsa is Basically Summer Flavors in a Bowl

In the summer when delicious sweet corn and tomatoes are in season, its time to make corn salsa. It’s refreshing, flavorful and fresh ingredients you need are:

  • Sweet corn on the cobb – Any type of corn, yellow, white or wild violet will do. I found these wild violet corn this summer at my local store and they were so beautiful I had to get them. They have just the right amount sweetness; sweet but not too sweet.
  • Roasted hatch chiles – The dish is not complete without them!
  • Cherry tomatoes – I used my sweet, cherry tomatoes from my own backyard!
  • Red onion
  • Fresh cilantros
  • Fresh lime juice

Roast the Corn with Fresh Cilantro and Cumin

For corn salsa that really packs the flavor punch, I brush corn ears with some olive oil then coat them with chopped cilantros and the ever so important spice, cumin seeds. Cumin seeds are what give this dish that deep, savory nutty flavor. Corn ears are then roasted in the cast iron skillet until they are lightly charred, meaning you don’t want them burnt and black. It’s bit messy to prepare corn this way, but it gets infused with cilantro and cumin flavor when roasted together! During the cooking process, some of the cilantros or cumin seeds will come off of the corn, but that’s ok it will still taste just fine.

What Can be Served with Corn Salsa?

I feel like I can eat an entire bowl of corn salsa simply with some pita or tortilla chips, but it also makes a perfect accompaniment for other dishes. Use corn salsa as a side dish for:

  • Seafood – Great with salmon, swordfish, tuna, shrimp, scallops, octopus.
  • Pork
  • Beef
  • Chicken

You can also incorporate corn salsa to:

  • Salad greens
  • Pasta
  • Flat breads
  • Wraps
  • Rice/couscous/quinoa

Simple pork roast with corn salsa and some guacamole made a delicious, satisfying meal for my family. For this meal, I pulled out my Dark Blue Felicity tableware by Burleigh (available through Denby USA and Anne Marie’s at the time of this writing) from my cupboard. I just thought splashes of colors from all the fresh veggies and the blue and white pattern of this tableware was just right for a summer afternoon.

Charred Corn Salsa with Hatch Chiles

Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes


For Roasted Hatch Chiles

  • 12 fresh hatch chiles
  • ¼ cup olive oil

For Corn Salsa

  • 5 ears of corn (yellow, white or wild violet)
  • 2-3 roasted hatch chiles: skin peeled, stem and seeds removed and chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • ¼ large red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped + cilantro leaves for garnish
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • juice of one lime
  • salt and pepper to taste


Roasted Hatch Chiles

  • Heat outside grill to 400° or if using an oven, set it to broil.
  • Place hatch chiles on an aluminum foil or baking sheet and drizzle olive oil on top. Roast hatch chilies for 10-12 minutes or until the chiles are charred on both sides, then take off from the grill or remove from oven and set it aside to cool.
  • Once chiles are cooled, peel the skin, and remove stems and seeds. They can be kept in a freezer for up to a year.

Charred Corn Salsa

  • Cut cherry tomatoes in half and sprinkle with salt. Set aside for 25-30 minutes and drain excess juice from the tomatoes.
  • Brush 3 tbsp olive oil on corn ears, and sprinkle corn with chopped cilantro and cumin seeds. Coat ears evenly with cilantro and cumin.
  • Heat cast iron skillet over medium high heat and add corn ears. Roast corn for 12-15 minutes or until corn is slightly charred. Rotate the ears with a tong every few minutes to prevent from burning and turn down heat to medium if corn is charring too much. Add extra olive oil to the corn if necessary. When done, take corn ears out of skillet and set it aside to cool.
  • Add 2 tbsp olive oil to the same skillet and sauté red onions until they are soft. Turn off heat and let the onions cool.
  • Once corn is cooled, cut corn off of cob using a knife or a corn stripper and transfer corn to a bowl. Add sautéed onions, cherry tomatoes, hatch chiles to the bowl and toss the ingredients. Finish off by adding fresh lime juice, salt and freshly ground pepper. To serve, garnish with fresh cilantro leaves.


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