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Roasted Fresh Chile Salsa (Salsa de Chile Fresco Asado)

You can think of this salsa as a not-too-smooth, fresh version of your typical rusty-orange hot sauce--fresh chiles replace dried ones, fresh lime juice replaces vinegar. The roastiness of the fresh chiles adds sweet richness, plus a powerhouse of heat should you choose a chile like cayenne or habanero. The not-too-hot jalapeno is a good chile to start with, as you're getting to know this approach to salsa; its natural, juicy sweetness makes a salsa that's well rounded and utterly delicious--a favorite of market stall cooks in Guadalajara. In its pure simplicity (no additions, no riffs), this salsa is one of Rick Bayless's favorites, too.


slideshow  More Great Salsa Recipes


  • Servings: 1/2 cup

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  • 4 ounces fresh hot green chiles (about 4 medium jalapeños, 16 medium serranos, 2 medium hot banana/Hungarian wax or 12 medium green or yellow-orange habaneros—really any small hot chile)
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Salt


  1. Turn on the broiler and adjust the rack to its highest level. Break the stems off the chiles, cut them in half lengthwise and lay them, cut-side down, on a baking sheet. Sprinkle the garlic cloves among the chiles. Slide under the broiler and roast until the chiles are soft and blotchy black in places, about a minute or two. Scrape into a blender or food processor and add the lime juice and 1/4 cup water. Process until nearly smooth. Pour into a salsa dish and thin with a little additional water if necessary to give the salsa an easily spoonable consistency. Taste (cautiously) and season with salt, usually about 1/2 teaspoon. Cover and refrigerate (for up to 5 days) if not using right away.


Spicy Steak and Potatoes: For two lovers of green chile spiciness, cut two medium-large (10 to 12 ounces total) red-skin potatoes into quarters, scoop into a microwaveable bowl, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon water and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cover and microwave until tender (about 4 minutes). Prepare your charcoal or gas grill--you want the fire medium hot. Smear 1/2 of the salsa (best made with jalapenos for this preparation) over your favorite steak--I like 10 to 12 ounces of ribeye. Lay steak and potatoes on the grill (I put the potatoes in a grill basket) and cook until as done as you like, turning from time to time.

Copyright 2005, Rick Bayless Mexican Everyday, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.

Contributed By Photo A© Lucy Schaeffer Published July 2013

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