Recipe: Salsa ranchera and Tomatillo salsa

Published: Tuesday, Apr. 30, 2013 - 2:29 pm | Page 2D
Last Modified: Tuesday, Apr. 30, 2013 - 2:40 pm

Sacramento Bee photographer Hector Amezcua shares his tips for making red and tomatillo salsa. "My family calls the red salsa 'salsa ranchera,' " he said.

Amezcua said the key to this salsa is grilling. You can grill the tomatoes, onion, peppers and garlic on a barbecue or under a broiler.

"I like under the broiler so you can use the juice released from the tomatoes in the salsa," he said.


2 pounds tomatoes

1 small white onion

2 jalapeño peppers

1 clove garlic, unpeeled

1 tablespoon salt

1 lemon


Broil whole tomatoes and a small onion for 20 to 30 minutes on the center rack. Rotate tomatoes and onion after 10 minutes and add peppers (without stems) and garlic (with peel).

Let cool, then cut off the tomato stems and peel the skin. The salsa can be prepared in a molcajete (large mortar and pestle), food processor or blender.

Peel and mash the garlic, then add peppers and mash. Mash in tomatoes one at a time (puncture first with a knife so the juice doesn't splatter). Place the salsa in a container. Add finely chopped fresh onion and cilantro to the salsa. Mix in fresh lemon juice and salt to taste.

Tomatillo salsa


2 pounds tomatillos

2 serrano peppers

1 clove garlic

1 tablespoon salt


Bring water in a saucepan to boil. Add tomatillos and cook for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add peppers and garlic and cook for another 5 minutes. In molcajete (mortar and pestle), mash garlic, then peppers. Add tomatoes one at a time and mash them. Add salt to taste. The salsa also can be made in a blender.

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