Tomatillo-Cilantro Salsa

This chile pepper gets its name from its origin. In Spanish, serrano is an adjective meaning “from the mountains” which is where it originated-in the mountains of Hildalgo, Mexico. The serrano is normally about twice as hot as Jalapeno (about 10,000 to 15,000 Scoville units).It is the second most popular chile pepper in Mexico. This chile is used mostly for salsas but can also be used in soups, sauces, chili or stews.Try these as a hotter substitute for Jalapeno.

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  1. 1/2 pound tomatillos (about 4), husked
  2. 1 large beefsteak tomato or 2 medium ones (about 1 pound)
  3. 2 serrano chiles, stemmed
  4. 1 dried pasilla chile, stemmed and seeded
  5. 1 medium onion, cut into 1-inch wedges
  6. 1 garlic clove, peeled
  7. 1/2 cup packed cilantro sprigs
  8. 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  9. Salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 500°. On a rimmed baking sheet, spread the tomatillos, beefsteak tomato, serranos, pasilla, onion and garlic. Roast the vegetables in the center of the oven for about 15 minutes, turning them once or twice, until softened and lightly browned in spots.
  2. Peel and core the beefsteak tomato and cut the flesh into quarters. Crumble the pasilla chile into a blender or food processor and add the remaining roasted vegetables and any juices. Add the cilantro sprigs and lime juice and puree until smooth. Season the salsa with salt.
Make AheadThe tomatillo-cilantro salsa can be refrigerated overnight.

NotesDried pasilla chiles are available at Latin American markets, specialty food stores and some supermarkets.