We recently took a trip to Dove’s Luncheonette in Wicker Park, one of our favorite neighborhoods in Chicago. It’s a really pretty diner style place, right in the bustle of six corners, the heart of the neighborhood. If you haven’t visited, we definitely recommend it to you! Here’s the thing about Dove’s – they have an amazing condiment on every table: Salsa Macha. Thick, oily, and totally mysterious – Salsa Macha can be spooned onto literally anything you’d like to jazz up, just like hot sauce, but with far less acidity. Instead, Salsa Macha is floral, nutty, sweet, and spicy, all at once! This condiment is a really fun afternoon project and can keep in your fridge for at least 1 month or on your countertop for a few weeks.
Salsa Macha (adapted from a recipe by Rick Bayless)
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
- 1 oz sliced raw almonds
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon tahini paste
- 2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon raw sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 oz dried chili peppers of your choice (arbol, chipotle, ancho, serrano, morita or pasilla)
Stem and seed chilies, chopping into 1/2 in. segments. In a pan, over medium high combine the nuts seeds garlic and oil until toasted, golden and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, add chillies and sesame seeds and pepitas. Let cool about 5 minutes. In the meantime mix remaining ingredients together, and pulse together in food processor until smooth.
Creator’s Note: The type of chilies you use will dictate the spice level of this sauce. We used arbol chilies, which will definitely give you something on the spicier side, and it’ll only get spicier as it sits – just some food for thought when you’re deciding which chilies to buy at the market!