Raw Green Tomato Sauce

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

This is a raw green table sauce; that is, it’s not cooked before using. As an alternative, the tomate and chiles may be broiled and then blended as below for a more earthy and textured sauce. It is better still when made in a molcajete. This type of sauce is always better eaten the same day it is made; it will, of course, keep a day or two under refrigeration, but it loses color, separates, and looks sort of dull the day after.

Makes2 cups (500 ml)



Total Timeunder 1 hour

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegan, vegetarian


Five Ingredients or LessYes

Taste and Textureherby, savory, sharp, spiced

Type of Dishsalsa, sauces


  • 1 pound (450 g; about 22 medium) tomate verde, husks removed and rinsed
  • 1/3 cup (85 ml) loosely packed, roughly chopped cilantro
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 (or to taste) chiles serranos, roughly chopped
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped white onion
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro


  1. Put the tomate into a pan, barely cover with water, and bring to a simmer. Continue to cook until the tomates turn a lighter, faded green and are just soft but not falling apart-about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

  2. Put ½ cup (125 ml) of the cooking water into a blender jar, add the cilantro, garlic, chiles, and salt, and blend until almost smooth. Drain the tomatoes and add them to the blender jar; blend for a few seconds just to break them up roughly. The sauce should have a rough texture. Serve sprinkled with the onion and cilantro.


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