Salsa Hoja Santa Chipotle

Salsa Hoja Santa Chipotle is a delicious blend of heat, smokiness, and herbs that can be served as an addictive appetizer for your party or a tasty side dish to your main course.

The salsa is not overly spicy, but provides enough of a spark from the chiles de árbol to keep you humble. Chipotle chiles (dried version of jalapeños) are known for their smoky taste, but I wanted to increase that flavor by roasting them over the comal and then soaking them in water for 20 minutes. Don’t discard the chipotle water, as that also becomes an essential ingredient in the dish to keep the salsa from becoming too chunky and provide additional flavor.

Those flavors go great with the herbs of Mexican Oregano and Hoja Santa. If you are not familiar with Hoja Santa, its Spanish for “Sacred Leaf” and also known as Mexican Pepperleaf. It is native to Mexico and South America, but can be found at your local carniceria. Here in Tucson I was able to find it at El Herradero in the Flowing Wells neighborhood as well as Wild West Carniceria on River and 1st Ave. If you want more information on Hoja Santa, I highly recommend reading this article by The Spruce Eats.

Update on Sunday Salsa: This is my first post on Sunday Salsa in a few months, as I have been busy with school and preparing for my new career in the medical field. Going forward with the website, I will still be posting new recipes when I have an opportunity and feel inspired to create a fun new dish. I was very excited to play with these flavors today to create Salsa Hoja Santa Chipotle and hope you all will enjoy it as well!

7 roma tomatoes, roasted
3 chipotle chiles, roasted
2 chiles de árbol, roasted
1 red bell pepper, roasted, stemmed & seeded
½ white onion, roasted
3 garlic cloves, roasted
1 tsp mesquite salt (or regular salt)
1 tsp pepper
1 ½ tsp Mexican Oregano
1 ½ tsp Hoja Santa
1 tsp white vinegar
¾ cup chile water (from the soaked chipotles)

Roast the chipotles and árbols over the stove for 10-20 seconds on each side or until lightly charred. Then place the chipotles in a bowl of room temperature water to soak for 20 minutes (do NOT discard the water when completed).

Roast the tomatoes, bell pepper (remove the stem and seeds first), white onion, and garlic over the stove or grill (I use a comal for the roasting) until lightly charred on all sides. Place those ingredients as well as the chiles de árbol and soaked chipotles into the blender, followed by ¾ cup of the chile water from the chipotles. Purée for one minute.

After the initial blend, add the remaining ingredients into the blender and purée for an additional minute. Pour the salsa into a bowl and place in the refrigerator for 20 minutes before serving.

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