Roasted Salsa de Arbol

De Arbol (Capsicum Annuum) means tree like in Spanish. The plant has thick, upright, woody stems and the chile itself is narrow, curved and bright red in color. Believed to be closely related to the pequin, the De Arbol is thin fleshed, with tannic, smoky, grassy flavor and searing heat. This chile has a heat range of 7.5 on the heat scale of 1-10. De Arbol Chiles are comparable to a Cayenne Pepper. Scoville heat units 15,000 to 30,000.

Suggested Use:
De Arbol is a hot chile and a staple in Southwest kitchens. Add some heat to your next salsa or Mexican dish. Be adventurous and add them to your next stew or chili along with the other spices Add some heat to your next salsa or Mexican dish.

Heat Scale
Submit Recipe


2 medium tomatoes, cored and cut in half
1 medium white onion, quartered
2 cups dried chile de arbol, remove stems
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp sherry wine vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup water or as needed


Heat oven to broil. Cover broiling pan with foil and lightly oil surface. Place tomato and onion pieces cut side down and lightly coat them with the olive oil. Place pan in oven at least 4 inches below burners. You want them nicely roasted and then turn once to roast for about 3 more minutes. Remove to a bowl to cool and set aside.

Roast chile sin a large heavy skillet over medium high heat. When they become fragrant, stir and turn to evenly roast. Reduce heat if they start to blacken. You want them to have a good roasted smell and flavor. Chiles can become bitter if you burn them.

Place chiles into a blender, cover tightly and grind to a coarse powder. Add water, vinegar, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and salt. Puree to a smooth sauce. Add more water only if needed. Check flavor and adjust salt or vinegar to taste.

Yields 2 cups. Heat Level: Hot

From Chile Peppers calendar by Larry Noggle.