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Rich and oh so flavorful...

Since spending a week at Rancho La Puerta this fall I can't get enough of their Salsa Macha. Chef Reyna generously shared her recipe which revs up any simple meal with a earthy, slightly spicy, dark sauce. The richness comes from the addition of healthy fats of sesame seeds and olive oil.

Last night I served this salsa as a topping for white beans stewed in a bit of their cooking liquid along with sautéed kale, cabbage, leeks, onion and garlic. The combo was heavenly with a sprinkle of Parmesan .....and it took me all of 20-minutes tops with the pre-cooked beans (or simply use canned Cannellini).

I've also enjoyed the salsa with sweet potatoes roasted in large chucks then tossed hot with lots of spinach. The sauce is also great on any steamed or roasted vegetable side, or plain baked or grilled meat poultry of seafood. The ingredients are easily found in your grocer's Ethnic Foods aisle. Bonus: It keeps in the fridge for 2-weeks, but I bet it will not last that long!

Salsa Macha

Adapted from Chef Reyna, Rancho La Puerta

20 árbol chiles*

2 ancho chiles

4 garlic cloves

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

sea salt, to taste

Break open the dried chiles to release and remove (most of) the seeds*. Heat up a medium skillet and toast the shards of chiles and garlic, add the sesame seeds and toast covered for a couple minutes. Add the olive oil and turn off the heat. Let the mixture steep in the oil until completely cool. Using a rubber spatula, transfer to a blender or food processor. Blend and place in an airtight container or glass jar until ready to serve.

* If you want to make mild salsa remove most of the seeds or you can substitute árbol chiles with guajillo chiles, or additional ancho chiles.

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