Salsa de Arbol

Photo: Matthew Williams
Prep Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
35 mins
2 cups

This salsa is even better when made ahead (up to 1 week). Refrigerate it until ready to serve, at room temperature.


  • 1 pound tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed and dried

  • 6 cloves garlic

  • 8 dried chiles de arbol, stems removed

  • 4 dried pasilla or New Mexico chiles, stems removed

  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt


  1. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add tomatillos; cook, turning a few times, until blistered in spots and beginning to soften, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let steam 15 minutes.

  2. Add garlic to skillet and cook over medium heat, turning a few times, until blistered and fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a blender. Add chiles to skillet and cook, turning frequently, just until toasted and soft, 30 to 60 seconds. Transfer to blender with tomatillos and accumulated juices, salt, and 2 tablespoons water. Blend to consistency of a thin salsa, about 10 seconds.

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