Mexican cooks take care to roast the vegetables, toast the seeds and fry the sauce. Each step enhances this rich and flavorful salsa. “The last step, frying the sauce, makes all the difference,” Houk says.

Yield | 3 cups |

  • 8 Roma tomatoes
  • 6 dried serrano peppers
  • ½ large white onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 cups chicken broth or water, divided
  • 1 cup sesame seeds
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil or olive oil*
  • salt
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro

| Preparation | Roast tomatoes, peppers, onions and garlic under the broiler until soft, lightly charred and blistered. Remove any stems from the peppers and purée the mixture with 1 cup broth or water. Set aside. Toast sesame seeds in a dry skillet until golden-brown, stirring to prevent burning. In a blender, purée the toasted seeds with 1 cup broth or water. Heat oil in a large skillet or sauté pan. Add seed purée and fry for 2 minutes. Add puréed tomato mixture and cook for 15 minutes, stirring often. Add salt to taste. Stir in chopped cilantro. Add stock or water if needed to reach desired consistency and serve.

* Although the traditional preparation would use vegetable oil, Houk prefers the taste of olive oil in this salsa.

Get more salsa recipes in our Beyond The Jar: Real Salsas feature!

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