Salsa de árbol is a cooked tomato salsa, spiked with spicy dried árbol chiles. For this version, I start by lightly frying onion, garlic, and dried chiles in a generous amount of oil until the onion just begins to color around the edges. I then add tomatoes, simmer them until softened, and then blend the mixture into a smooth and creamy emulsion.
The resulting salsa packs plenty of chile punch from the árbols, which are about six times hotter than your average jalapeño, but that heat is nicely balanced by the sweetness of the cooked tomato and lightly caramelized alliums. This salsa is perfect for chip-dipping, but also pairs well with grilled vegetables and seafood, meaty tacos, and even roast chicken. Trust us, you’ll want to put it on everything.