Cilantro Salsa (a la Luna De Noche)

Cilantro Salsa

When I lived in Dallas, we frequented a Mexican restaurant called Luna De Noche, and I remember loving their cilantro salsa.  So I was thrilled a few years ago when my friend Mark got a copy of the recipe off of some promotional calendar or something.  He sent it my way, and I started making it to bring to parties and other gatherings.  Thus began the “Year of Cilantro Dip”.  (I’m not quite sure how or when it started being referred to as “dip” instead of “salsa”).  Everyone started requesting this recipe — EVERYONE.  People who *hate* cilantro LOVE this salsa.  It almost got to the point where people wanted to do shots of this stuff.  Use it as a dip with pita chips.  Use it to top crab cakes.  Inject a turkey with it on Thanksgiving (we did!).   This recipe makes a ton, so you might want to halve it, but then again, you might not.

Chris says:

Guess what Abbie wants for the party tonight?

Lisa says:

Mushrooms? Eggplant? Onions?

Chris says:

No, but nice tactic guessing things she hates… cilantro dip!

Lisa says:

Waaahoooooo! You haven’t made that in a while!

Chris says:

I know! Everyone *else* started making it that year that I sent out the recipe, so I got out of the habit. It’s obviously ready for a comeback.

Random Party Quotes:

Yum — who made this?

Wow, this is very, very good.

Whoa, that’s got some kick to it!

*Five* bunches of cilantro?

Cilantro Salsa
2 32-oz cans Whole Peeled Tomatoes
3 jalapeño peppers
5 bunches of Cilantro
2 tbsp granulated garlic
2 tbsp salt
2 tbsp red pepper flakes
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp black pepper

Boil the Jalapenos until tender. Drain. Remove the seeds and membranes.
Remove and discard the stalks off one bunch of the cilantro, then coarsely chop the leaves and set aside to be added to the salsa at the end. Remove and discard the stalks off the remaining bunches of cilantro.
Working in batches, in a blender or food processor, puree the tomatoes, cilantro, and jalapeños. As each batch finishes, pour into a large bowl. When it’s all blended, add in the spices and oil and mix well with a spoon. Add in the chopped cilantro and mix again. The flavor intensifies over time.

Many, many servings.

11 responses to “Cilantro Salsa (a la Luna De Noche)”

  1. This stuff is great! Thank you Luna for providing the recipe to us in that calendar. This post makes me want to leave work right now to go home and get cooking!

  2. i’m in love with cilantro and everything it touches. this sounds absolutely amazing and i’m making it as soon as i can get myself to the grocery store. bless you both. 🙂

  3. I made this tonight and I agree that it is delicious. However, my batch came out somewhat salty. I’d advise using no salt or at least low salt tomatoes. That might be the difference. Also, perhaps try 1T salt and then add more to your taste up to 2T. You won’t have any problem tasting repeatedly.

  4. Luna’s salsa recipe deserves the reputation. I used to travel to Dallas frequently and I loved their salsa so much that my colleague sent me a thermos of it for my birthday. Subsequent visits got me the recipe from Galina (on a napkin) and I kept it safe like some family heirloom. The next year came the little recipe booklet which I still have. It was very generous of Luna to share the recipes. When in Dallas, do visit Luna de Noche. The food is great and the people are terrific.


  5. I’m in love with cilantro, and I use in every meal….I went today with my family to luna de noche and I ask for the recipe…but the guy told me he can’t do that he can lose his job…well as soon I get home I search for it and I find you guys Thank you! and Thanks Luna their food is delicious and my kids love it too!!!

  6. Thanks for the recipe.
    I bought one of these calendars years ago, and have misplaced it over the several moves. I now live in upstate New York where good Mexican food is only a memory. In this calendar there was also a recipe for
    their Spanish rice and also their sour cream enchilada sauce. If your friend mark has copies of this, I would love to get a copy of these recipes as I don’t think I will ever find my old promo copy

  7. This was always a huge favorite of mine. Thank You! Thank You for sharing!!! I love this. It does make a huge batch. I froze 1 cup portions in bags ziplock bags. (If you don’t already do this following great tip:) Lay flat as you freeze on a small cookie sheet to conserve freezer storage space.

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