Apple Salsa

Salsa is my favorite part of Sonoran cuisine. One of my favorite local chefs makes inventive salsas out of ingredients that strike her fancy, including Girl Scout cookies! Traditional Sonoran apple salsa relies on the chiltepín pepper, which is extremely hot. I've adapted my original recipe replacing the chiltepín with ancho chiles to control the heat. I used early Michigan Golden Ginger apples for this recipe. The balsamic is an important part of this recipe. I always use Villa Manodori Balsamic Vinegar which is available online.

Apple Salsa

In a small saucepan, bring the ancho chiles and water to a boil. Turn off the heat and cover. Let the chiles soak for 30 minutes. Remove the chiles from the water and remove the stems and seeds. Reserve the soaking water.

Peel and coarsely the onions. Place in a food processor and pulse a few times until evenly chopped. Heat a large skillet over high heat, spray with oil and add the chopped onion and minced garlic. Sauté for 1-2 minutes just to take the edge off the raw flavor of the onions. Peel and grate the apples.

Add the soaked ancho chiles to the food processor, along with the onion garlic mixture and the shredded apples. Add the balsamic vinegar, lime juice, cilantro, salt, paprika, cayenne and 2 tbsp of the soaking water. Pulse until combined. If you need to add more soaking water, add it 1 tbsp at a time. Taste and adjust the salt and/or cayenne, if necessary, to your desired heat level. Serve with tortilla chips. 


makes 2 cups


  • 2 large dried ancho chiles
  • 1 cup water
  • 1½ cups coarsely chopped Golden delicious apples
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • spray oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp cayenne
  • 2-4 tbsp soaking liquid from the chiles