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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Serrano Salsa

I’ve mentioned my wonderful neighbor Ari a few times. She is from Mexico and gives me tips for cooking Mexican food that make my life happy. The latest is a recipe for salsa that she got from one of her aunts the last time they visited family in Mexico.

serrano salsa by @janemaynard

Ari and I were sitting by the pool and she said, “My aunt made some salsa. It’s my favorite. And it’s soooo easy.” She then told me how to make this magical salsa. I asked her to repeat it a few times and then, of course, emailed her later to ask her to write it down. This is basically what happens every time she shares a recipe with me – I make her repeat it a million times and then have to call her and/or email her multiple times before I get it down. Don’t you wish I was your neighbor? 😉

serrano salsa by @janemaynard

serrano salsa by @janemaynard

Okay, so, for real, this salsa is easy, simple and delicious! It has a rich, smoky flavor and the perfect amount of heat (well, at least I think it’s perfect). Most of the kids didn’t try it because they were scared it would be too spicy, but my brave little Anna dug in. She described the salsa as hot and then proceeded to tell us how she has a “sensible tongue.” It was so cute. In terms of “hotness,” I would consider this a hot salsa. Depending on the heat of your particular serranos and what your final proportion of tomatoes to chiles is will determine exactly how hot it ends up being, but, even with those variations, it’s a spicy salsa. My dad, my sister-in-law and I ate almost all of it in one sitting. I can’t wait to make this salsa for Nate when we get home from traveling!

serrano salsa by @janemaynard

I’m sure you could add onions and garlic and cilantro and yummy stuff like that. But, honestly, the beauty of this recipe is its simplicity, so just go with it!

Serrano Salsa
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
My friend Ari shared this recipe with me - her aunt made it for her in Mexico. Enjoy!
Serves: 1 cup
  • 3 tomatoes (my tomatoes were a little smaller than normal, so I used about 9 tomatoes)
  • 3 chiles serranos
  • salt, to taste
  1. Cut the tomatoes in half and place them cut-side down in a pan. (I used a non-stick pan and would recommend that.)
  2. Cut off the stems of the serrano chiles and place them whole in the pan with the tomatoes (no cutting or seeding necessary!).
  3. Cook the tomatoes and chiles over high heat to burn them. Ari said about 3-4 minutes per side, but I think it took mine more like 5-10 minutes per side. You will see little brown and black spots on the tomatoes and chiles when they are ready to come off the heat. You cut the tomatoes in half and put them on a pan with the chiles (chiles are complete with seeds). The tomato skins will also start to peel off.
  4. Remove from heat, put everything in the pan in a blender and blend well. Season with salt to taste, probably about ¼ - ½ teaspoon.
  5. As Ari said, "Habemus salsa!"



  1. 1

    Love this salsa!

  2. oh wow- sounds great! i love neighbor recipes 🙂

  3. How easy is that?! Looks delish!

  4. I need this in my life.

  5. 6
    Rachel U

    Making this ASAP!!!

  6. 7
    Emma Dehn

    I made this last night. The family loves it, but it still even the next day is a little runny. Any suggestions?

    • Ewan

      You could try cooking the tomatoes a little longer to get rid of the excess juice or try quartering the tomatoes instead of halving. Another idea would be to return the mix to a saucepan after blending, and simmer until you are happy with consistency.

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