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Chipotle and Roasted Garlic Salsa

(recipe, Roberto Santibanez)

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Sometimes I think Mexican cooks are magicians. Because here's yet another salsa with just three main ingredients that tastes so complex, you'd think that it involves a whole cupboard's worth of stuff. Brick-red with a silky and creamy (but cream-free) texture, it wallops you with smoky, garlicky, tongue-scalding spice. I add it to almost anything, from turkey sandwiches to soups to beans.


  1. ½ oz. chipotle mora chiles (3, purplish-red color), wiped clean and stemmed (see Note)
  2. 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  3. ½ cup water
  4. 1 tsp. apple-cider vinegar, or more to taste
  5. ½ tsp. fine salt, or 1 tsp. kosher salt


  1. Heat a comal, griddle, or heavy skillet over medium-low heat, and toast the chiles and garlic, turning them over frequently, until the chiles have puffed up and are blistered in spots, 3 to 5 minutes, and the garlic is just tender and golden brown with some blackened spots, 8 to 10 minutes. Put the chiles and garlic in the blender jar with the remaining ingredients and purée until smooth, at least 2 minutes. Season to taste with additional vinegar and salt.
  2. Serve the salsa with Grilled Adobo-Marinated Skirt Steak, Adobo-Marinated Chicken, tacos, tortilla chips, rice, beans, or any other side you like. This salsa keeps in the refrigerator for up to five days or in the freezer for up to one month.


Culinate editor's note: You can find dried chipotle chiles in the Hispanic section of many grocery stores or at a Mexican-foods specialty shop.