So, I decided to dust off my Molcajete (mortar and pestle) and make salsa. If you didn’t know Molcajete is an essential part of every Mexican kitchen that goes all the way back to the Aztec and Mayan civilization. I learned to use the molcajete before I learned to use the blender. Yes, I was just a kid. There are two part to this wonderful pre-Hispanic food processor, the molcajete which is the base and “la piedra” which is the pestle. Both made out of volcanic rock. Isn’t it so cool?
The food processor is just fine if you don’t have a molcajete. It is for sure a lot faster but there is something about using the molcajete that makes everything taste better. To properly use the molcajete you have to grind each ingredient starting for the firmer ingredient to the softest. In this case we start by grinding the garlic and finish with the tomatillos, the grinding motion releases the natural oils of your ingredients and adds a depth of flavor that you don’t get by using the blender or the food processor.
What you need to make Roasted Tomatillo Salsa
What you need to know before you make this recipe
Tomatillos are not green tomatoes. It is a much smaller and tart tomato that is wrapped in a paper like husk and unlike red tomatoes, you want them to be firm when you choose them.
Arbol chile is a very spicy pepper, if you are not big into hot salsas you can cut down to three chiles or even use jalapeños instead. If you choose Jalapeños roast them in the baking sheet with the tomatoes, onions and garlic and add grind them in the molcajete in the same order you would grind the arbol chiles.
I really love my molcajete and I’m not putting away again. You can find molcajetes at any mercado, antique store or even online. It is worth it, believe me.
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