Salsa de Arbol

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 12

This salsa, from Chef Traci Des Jardins, is made with arbol chilies—they’re quite hot, so add them to taste, depending on the level of spiciness you want. Removing the seeds lessens the bite.


  • 1/2 white onion, peeled and cut in half
  • 1/2 lb. tomatillos, husks removed
  • 1/2 lb. roma tomatoes
  • 2 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 3 to 6 arbol chilies, depending on desired spiciness
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Salt, to taste


Coarsely slice the onion half. Rinse the tomatillos in warm water to remove the sticky residue on them.

Place a grill pan on the stove and char the tomatoes, tomatillos and onion. Set aside.

Put the oil in a saucepan and toast the chilies quickly, being careful not to scorch them, about 30 seconds. Remove the chilies from the pan. Add the garlic to the pan and cook until lightly brown. Add the tomatoes, tomatillos, onion, chilies and 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Season with salt. Serves 12.

Recipe by Traci Des Jardins, Chef/Owner, Jardinière and Mijita, San Francisco.