Recipe courtesy of Roberto Santibanez

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa with Chipotle and Roasted Garlic

That simple blueprint - tomatillos, chiles, garlic - that you follow to make the previous salsa will lead you to another super salsa. The difference? You roast the garlic. That seemingly minor change takes barely any extra effort - after all, you're already roasting and toasting the other ingredients - but adds so much complexity and a haunting sweetness that plays off those tangy tomatillos. As for chiles, I love using smoky chipotles, but chiles de arbol add nuttiness and serious heat, while pasillas de Oaxaca, if you can get your hands on them, one-up chipotles with smokiness and a touch of fruitiness. The choice is yours.
  • Total: 1 hr 5 min
  • Prep: 40 min
  • Cook: 25 min
  • Yield: 1 1/4 Cups
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1/2 pound tomatillos (5 or 6), husked and rinsed

3 chipotle mora chiles (purplish-red color), wiped clean and stemmed

6 garlic cloves, peeled

1/2 cup water

Rounded 1/4 teaspoon fine salt, or 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Set the oven or toaster oven to broil (alternatively, you can preheat the oven to 500degreesF) and preheat. If you're using the oven broiler, position the rack 8 inches from the heat source.
  2. Put the tomatillos on a foil-lined baking pan and roast in the oven, turning them over once halfway through, until their tops and bottoms have blackened and the tomatillos are a khaki-green color and cooked to the core, 20 to 30 minutes. Let them cool to room temperature. 
  3. Meanwhile, heat a comal, griddle, or heavy skillet over medium-low heat and toast the chiles and roast the garlic on the comal, turning them over frequently until the chiles have puffed up and are blistered in spots, 3 to 5 minutes, and the garlic is tender and golden brown with some blackened spots, 8 to 10 minutes. 
  4. Put the roasted tomatillos, chiles, and garlic in the blender jar with the water and salt and blend until smooth (the tomatillo seeds will still be visible). Season to taste with additional salt.

Cook’s Note

This salsa keeps in the refrigerator for up to five days.