Chile de Árbol Salsa

June 30, 2020
0 Ratings
Photo by Herstory of Food
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 45 minutes
  • Makes 1 cup
Author Notes

I call this recipe "Salsa de Esperanza". (Esperanza, in this case, is a name. However, esperanza also means “hope”.) Esperanza and I worked together for five years. I realized how amazing a cook Esperanza is when she made chicken mole for the middle school staff. Before moving to Mexico, I had been less than a fan of mole. My opinion changed quickly after trying Esperanza's.

Shortly after, a colleague arranged a time for several foreign teachers, including myself, to go to Esperanza’s home to learn some of her recipes and share a meal. In the following years, Esperanza repeatedly opened her home to me and my fellow foreign teachers. This recipe was always on the table. It has the delicious tang of tomatillos and the spice can be scaled up or down.

Here is a video to go along with the recipe!:

If you want more recipes like this, you can sign up to receive a weekly newsletter about Mexican cooking and the intersection of food and social justice at
Herstory of Food

What You'll Need
  • 1.5 teaspoons oil
  • 8-22 chiles de árbol
  • 3/4 pound (about 12 medium sized) tomatillos, cored and quartered
  • 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3/4 t teaspoons salt
  1. Add the oil to a sauteé pan and let heat over high heat until shimmering, about 30 seconds. Add the chiles to the oil. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until brown, stirring constantly. Remove the chiles from the pan.
  2. Reduce the heat to low. In the same pan, place the quartered tomatillos, onion and garlic. Cook for 30 to 40 minutes until the onions have begun to brown, but are not caramelized, and the tomatillos are turning yellow.
  3. Place the tomatillos, onion and garlic in the bowl of the food processor or blender. Add the desired number of chiles and salt. Blend until smooth. Taste and add more chiles if desired. Serve immediately with chips, tacos or quesadillas, eggs or the dish of your choice or store in an airtight container for up to a week.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

0 Reviews