Salsa de Chiltepín

Salsa de Chiltepín is my all-time favorite salsa. I make it more than any other salsa and I absolutely love chiltepíns (they’re my favorite chiles in the world), despite their incredibly spicy taste.

If you’re not familiar with chiltepíns, they’re a very small red berry that are similar in heat level to a habañero. They are also considered the mother of all chiles, as their small stature is what all peppers once derived from. They are very special to the Sonoran Desert Region. They can sometimes be found growing wild in canyons or near mountains in Southern Arizona.

I found a new chiltepin plant this year for my garden from Harlow Gardens in Tucson. I previously had a chiltepin plant two years ago, but an unexpected freeze wiped it out.

I like to combine my chiltepíns with roasted onions, tomatoes, garlic, and pasilla peppers in this salsa. These ingredients help level out the heat from the chiltepíns, while also providing a nice roasted texture. The herbs also make a major difference in this dish with the addition of Mexican Oregano and cilantro. Salsa de Chiltepín goes great with everything, which is perfect if you have a busy week ahead of you.

Speaking of which, Sunday Salsa will be going on a hiatus for awhile as I begin Nursing School at the University of Arizona. I may still post some food videos on the Sunday Salsa Instagram account when I have a free second (I still need to eat while in school), but I will be needing to put a lot of focus into my studies. The website will still be available during this time, so feel free to find a recipe that suits your cooking. ¡Buen provecho!

6 roma tomatoes, roasted
1 tbsp chiltepins
1 pasilla, roasted
3 garlic cloves, roasted
½ white onion, roasted
¼ cup cilantro
2 tbsp Mexican Oregano
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tbsp vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup water

Roast the tomatoes, onion, and garlic over medium-high heat on a comal or pan for about six minutes, until moderately charred on each side. After they have completed roasting, transfer them to the blender.

Next, roast the pasilla (stem removed) for 20 seconds on each side or until lightly charred. Then place the pasilla in the blender along with the remainder of the ingredients. Purée for two minutes until well combined. Pour into a bowl and refrigerate for 20 minutes before serving.

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