Food & Drink

Hot Sauce: Salsa Verde

Makes 3½ cups

A modern version of the ancient green salsas made by the Zapotecs in Oaxaca

photo: Peden + Munk

Here is a modern version of the ancient green salsas made by the Zapotecs in Oaxaca. If you want to know what the ancient version tasted like, taste it before you add the garlic and lime juice. This is a great table sauce, as well as the perfect sauce for enchiladas verdes.


    • 1 pound tomatillos, husked and washed

    • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro

    • 3 fresh serrano chiles, stemmed, seeded, and minced

    • 1 cup minced sweet onion

    • 2 tsp. minced garlic

    • Pinch of sugar

    • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

    • Salt (preferably good-quality sea salt)


  1. Put the cleaned tomatillos in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then turn off the heat and allow the tomatillos to soak for 5 minutes.

  2. Remove from heat, drain, and puree in a food processor. Add the cilantro, serranos, onion, garlic, sugar, and lime juice to the food processor and pulse three or four times to combine. Season with salt to taste. Serve immediately, or store in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Recipe reprinted with permission from The Hot Sauce Cookbook by Robb Walsh, copyright 2013. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.