Salsa Rojo

Here’s a homemade version of the tomato salsa served at taco stands and burrito joints everywhere. Try it with all your favorite Mexican foods — it even works as enchilada sauce.

  • 1 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 2 medium chile peppers, such as poblano, New Mexico, or Anaheim, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds tomatoes, diced (about 4 1/2 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chili powder, or chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

Directions

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, chile peppers and garlic and cook, stirring, until the onion is soft and beginning to brown, 3 to 4 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium. Add tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, salt, and cayenne. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have broken down and thickened slightly, 6 to 8 minutes.

Carefully transfer the tomato mixture to a food processor or blender. Pulse to make a chunky sauce, or until desired consistency. (Use caution when pureeing hot ingredients.)

Let cool to room temperature, about 1 1/2 hours. Stir in cilantro and lime juice just before serving.

Tips & Techniques

Shopping tip: Ancho chile, a dried poblano pepper, is one of the most popular dried chiles used in Mexico. It has a mild, sweet, spicy flavor.

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