Poblano-Pepita Salsa

This chile pepper is often mislabeled ‘Pasilla’, which is a different pepper entirely.It is one of the most popular chiles in Mexico and has won the appreciation of many a chef worldwide because of the superior flavor it has over regular bell peppers.

They have a tough outer skin that usually requires roasting and peeling before use. These very large chile peppers are most popular in chiles rellenos recipes, but cooking with these as a substitute for bell peppers in any recipe will enhance the flavor.

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2 medium poblano chiles
1 lb. tomatillos, husked and rinsed
1/2 cup unsalted, roasted, hulled pepitas
1/4 cup packed chopped fresh cilantro
Kosher salt


Char the chiles over a gas burner or under a broiler until blackened on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic, and cool. Peel, stem, seed, and finely chop the chiles.

Heat a griddle or large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the tomatillos, turning occasionally, until dark brown in spots, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool. Coarsely chop the pepitas in a food processor transfer to a medium bowl. Without washing the food processor, add the tomatillos and process to the consistency of a chunky sauce. Transfer to the bowl with the pepitas. Stir in the chiles, cilantro, and salt to taste.

Make Ahead Tips:
The sauce may be made 3 days ahead, the filling 2 days ahead, and the salsa 1 day ahead. Refrigerate separately. Return the salsa to room temperature for serving.

Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

Recipe by Jeanne Kelley via finecooking.com