Tomatillo Salsa Verde

Growing up we always had a choice of two kinds of salsa – a red tomato salsa which we made from scratch, and a salsa verde, or green salsa, which we got from a bottle (Victoria brand).

As a kid I always thought that green salsa was made from green tomatoes, but actually it is made with a Mexican relative of a tomato, the tomatillo (pronounced “toe-mah-TEE-yo”), which looks like a little green tomato covered with a husk. Here are three quick and easy ways for making Salsa Verde.

Tomatillo Salsa Verde

  • Prep: 10 minutes
  • Cook: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 3 cups

To cook the tomatillos, you can either roast them in the oven, brown them on the stovetop, or boil them. Roasting in the oven or browning on the stovetop will deliver more flavor. Each way works, though boiling is a more common way to cook the tomatillos.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lb tomatillos
  • 1/2 cup chopped white onion
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • 2 Jalapeño peppers OR 2 serrano peppers, stemmed, seeded and chopped (you can use whole for more heat if you want)
  • Salt to taste

I like to include a few garlic cloves in with the oven roasting method.

Method

1 Remove papery husks from tomatillos and rinse well.

2a Oven Roasting Method Cut the tomatillos in half and place cut side down on a foil-lined baking sheet. Place under a broiler for about 5-7 minutes to lightly blacken the skin.

tomatillo-roasted-1.jpg tomatillo-roasted-2.jpg

2b Pan Roasting Method Coat the bottom of a skillet with a little vegetable oil. Heat on high heat. Place the tomatillos in the pan and sear on one side, then flip over and brown on the other side. Remove from heat.

pan-roasted-tomatillos-1.jpg pan-roasted-tomatillos-2.jpg

2c Boiling Method Place tomatillos in a saucepan, cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove tomatillos with a slotted spoon.

3 Place the cooked tomatillos, lime juice, onions, cilantro, chili peppers, sugar (if using) in a blender or food processor and pulse until all ingredients are finely chopped and mixed. Season to taste with salt. Cool in refrigerator.

salsa-verde-blender-1.jpg salsa-verde-blender-2.jpg

Serve with chips or as a salsa accompaniment to Mexican dishes.

Links:

Botanical information on the tomatillo, from Purdue University

Simple tomato salsa

husked tomatillos

Main Ingredients

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