Do you bring the same trail mix on every camping trip? Add some excitement to your camping snack options. Roasted campfire salsa and fresh fireside guacamole served with your favorite brand of tortilla chips will be a sure hit on your next outing. The vibrant flavors and colors will make you forget all about… what was it… granola bars?
Roasted campfire salsa
- Fire safe gloves
- 2 10-inch cast iron skillets
- Knife and cutting board
- Aluminum foil
- Olive oil
- 4-6 roma tomatoes
- 1 small/medium yellow onion
- 2 serrano peppers
- 1 head of garlic
- 1 bunch of cilantro
Build a campfire under the grill. As the fire gets hot, drizzle about 1 Tbsp of olive oil in each cast iron skillet – just enough to barely coat the bottom. Slice the tomatoes in half and split between skillets. Cut the onion in quarters and add to the tomatoes. Slice each serrano pepper in half and remove most or all of the seeds and ribs depending on desired heat level; place in skillet. Cut the top off the head of garlic to expose the cloves then place cut side up in skillet. Drizzle 1-2 Tbsp of olive oil over the vegetables. Drizzle about 1 Tbsp of olive oil directly on the head of garlic so it coats the exposed garlic cloves and drips down the outside skin. Sprinkle salt over all the vegetables. Cover skillets with aluminum foil and place on the grill rack.
Let the vegetables roast over the campfire checking about every 15 minutes. Remove the foil carefully – watch out for the trapped steam! Pay close attention to the head of garlic as it will burn easily and you may have to remove before the other vegetables are done. It is ready when the cloves start to turn golden brown and it loses its shape. The cloves should be tender and will squeeze out of the skins. The tomatoes are ready when they begin to shrivel and their skins burst and brown. The onions should be translucent or golden brown and the peppers will lose their bright green color and crisp texture. The vegetables will take between 30 and 60 minutes to roast depending on your fire.
While the vegetables are roasting, pick the cilantro leaves from the stems and chop finely. Once the vegetables have roasted and cooled, chop and add to a bowl. Use all of the tomatoes and onions, 5 cloves of the roasted garlic, and as much of the peppers needed to reach your desired heat level. Chop the garlic and peppers pretty finely so their flavor is more evenly dispersed through the salsa. Add the cilantro and salt to taste. Enjoy!
Fresh fireside guacamole
- Knife and cutting board
- Plastic food wrap
- 3 ripe avocados
- 3 limes
- 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 serrano pepper, stem, seeds, and ribs removed, then minced
- 2 roma tomatoes, finely chopped
- 4-6 Tbsp cilantro leaves, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper
Slice each avocado in half and remove the pits. Using perpendicular strokes dice the avocados in their skins. Use a spoon to scoop out all of the avocado chunks into a bowl. Immediately squeeze the juice of one lime over the avocado to help prevent browning. Add in the onion, garlic, and pepper and using the back of fork, mash the mixture to break down some of the avocado. Don’t overdo it – be sure to leave some chunks of avocado in your guacamole. Fold in the tomato and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add more lime juice if needed. Serve alongside tortilla chips and enjoy!
Roasted campfire salsa and fresh fireside guacamole are sure to add some spice to your next camping adventure. Some tips to keep in mind:
- Always use a serrated knife when chopping tomatoes. This ensures you actually cut through the tomato rather than smashing it.
- Wash your hands after dealing with serrano peppers and be sure not to touch your eyes until after you have done so.
- Taste as you cook. Salsa and guacamole are made with fresh ingredients which vary in flavor.
- Don’t over-salt. If your tortilla chips are salted that’s going to add to the flavor of your salsa and guacamole.
- Seal salsa in an airtight container and keep in the cooler. Let it come to back to “room” or campsite temperature before snacking again to take the chill off.
- After you’ve had your fill of guacamole, cover it with plastic food wrap. Put the wrap directly on the surface of the guacamole pushing out as much air as possible to prevent browning from oxidation.