Photo: Iain Bagwell Photo by: Photo: Iain Bagwell

Roasted Tomato and Three-Chile Salsa

Sunset JUNE 2009

  • Yield: Makes 2 1/2 cups


  • 2 medium firm-ripe tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion, cut crosswise in 4 slices
  • 5 unpeeled garlic cloves
  • 10 dried cascabel chiles*
  • 10 dried arbol chiles*, stems removed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce*
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • About 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt


1. Preheat broiler and set a rack 3 in. from heating element. Line a large rimmed baking pan with foil and put tomatoes, onion, and garlic in it. Broil the vegetables, turning as needed, until browned in spots all over, 15 to 20 minutes; transfer to a bowl as done. Let cool.

2. Meanwhile, wipe dried chiles clean with a damp cloth. Pull out and discard seeds and stems from cascabels (break chiles open a bit if needed). Turn on fan over stove. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add cascabel and arbol chiles, and cook, turning often with a slotted spoon, until slightly softened and darkened in spots, 1 to 2 minutes.

3. Reserving oil in pan, transfer chiles to a small, deep bowl and pour 2 cups boiling water on top. Let stand until chiles are softened, about 20 minutes. Discard 1 cup liquid.

4. Whirl chiles and remaining liquid with chipotle in a food processor until very smooth. Cut tomatoes and onion into chunks. Peel garlic. Add vegetables to chile purée and pulse until nearly smooth.

5. Reheat oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add chile mixture and bring to a simmer, stirring. Cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes to blend flavors.

6. Pour salsa into a bowl and let cool. Stir in lemon juice and season to taste with salt.

*Buy in your supermarket's international foods aisle or at a Latino market.

Make ahead: Chill airtight up to 1 week.

Note: Nutritional analysis is per 1/4-cup serving.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 43
  • Calories from fat: 63%
  • Protein: 0.7g
  • Fat: 3g
  • Saturated fat: 0.4g
  • Carbohydrate: 4.3g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Sodium: 205mg
  • Cholesterol: 0.0mg

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Roasted Tomato and Three-Chile Salsa recipe