Salsa de chile arbol is a roasted, tomato-forward salsa with the zippy and acidic tang of tomatillos, highlighted with the subtle nuttiness of the arbol chiles.
It’s a great salsa for drizzling over fatty meats or simply serving up with tortilla chips.
With chile de arbol being the basis of the heat in this recipe, you get a more pure tomato and tomatillo flavor than the flavor of fresh chiles.
The chile de arbol does add a subtle nutty flavor to the salsa, depending on how many you add.
Chile de arbol may be small, but they pack a big punch, landing on the Scoville scale at 15,000 – 30,000, or as much as eight times hotter than a jalapeno, which typically ranks around 3,500 to 8,000.
You can think of the number of peppers the same way you might think of a volume knob. One chile de arbol would land at one on the volume scale, making for a very mild salsa, and ten would light your hair on fire. Just adjust according to your taste.
Salsa de Chile Arbol
- 1 lb. tomatillos - husked and cored
- 6 chiles de arbol
- 6 medium garlic cloves - peeled
- 1/2 lb. ripe red tomatoes - cored
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- Stem the chiles and shake out the seeds.
- Place tomatillos in pot of cold water and bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and add arbol chiles and garlic. cook 15 minutes.
- Preheat broiler to high and place a rack near the top of the oven. Broil tomatoes until skin is blackened on all sides.
- Place the chiles, salt, garlic, and one each of the tomatillos and ripe tomatoes in the food processor and blend until very smooth. Add the remaining tomato and tomatillos and pulse a few times until everything is blended and you have a chunky salsa. Serve.
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