Yield: about 3 ½ cups (enough to top four fish filets and be a meal-starter)

  • 3 large ripe tomatoes
  • ½ red onion, cut along the equator
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • ½ cup cilantro (¾-inch-thick bunch)
  • Optional: 1 jalapeno
  • Salt to taste

Preheat grill. Cut each tomato in half along the equator and gently squeeze to remove seeds. Slice onion into rings. Submerge cilantro in water, swish around, and remove (always assume that cilantro is sandy and always remove cilantro from water.

Don’t pour into a colander because sand will stay with the cilantro), allow cilantro to drain. Add tomato halves and sliced red onions (and jalapeno, if desired) to grill and char.

Transfer to food processor and puree with cilantro and lime juice; add salt to taste.

Jay Pierce is the Executive Chef at Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen, with locations in Greensboro and Cary. He loves cooking, teaching others to cook and reading and writing about food.

Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen
Discover American Southern Cuisine rooted in the Piedmont, served in an upscale environment. We use the highest quality ingredients (including a lot of local food) to create our interpretation of classic Southern dishes. Please join us for lunch or dinner, seven days a week, for the highest quality food and drink with friendly, attentive service in our Greensboro restaurant near UNCG and our Cary restaurant near Raleigh, Apex and Holly Springs. We promise you’ll be happy! Click here to make a reservation.

Visit Lucky 32’s Farm to Fork blog for more great information.

This story was published on

Since 1933, Our State has shared stories about North Carolina with readers both in state and around the world. We celebrate the people and places that make this state great. From the mountains to the coast, we feature North Carolina travel, history, food, and beautiful scenic photography.