Tomato and Chile Salsa (Salsa Roja)

  • Serves

    makes about 2 cups


By SAVEUR Editors

Published on July 18, 2012

Charred tomatoes give this vibrant red salsa a hint of sweetness and smoke. This recipe first appeared in our August/September 2012 issue with Hugo Ortega's article Special Sauce.


  • 10 dried guajillo chiles (available at
  • 6 dried árbol chiles (available at
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 plum tomatoes, cored
  • 1 small white onion, halved
  • Kosher salt, to taste


Step 1

Heat a 12" skillet over medium-high heat. Add guajillo and árbol chiles, and cook, turning as needed, until lightly toasted all over, about 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl, and cover with boiling water; let sit until chiles are soft, about 20 minutes. Drain chiles, reserving 1 cup soaking liquid, and remove stems and seeds. Transfer chiles and reserved soaking liquid to a blender and set aside.

Step 2

Return skillet to high heat. Add garlic, tomatoes, and onion, and cook, turning as needed, until blackened all over, about 6 minutes for garlic, 15 minutes for tomatoes, and 12 minutes for onion. Transfer to blender with chiles along with salt, and purée until smooth and silky, at least 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, and serve at room temperature.

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