Tomatillo Salsa (Salsa Verde)
I wanted to love this salsa, but I only liked it. I think the problem is that I was trying to duplicate something that’s not actually standard salsa verde. It’s a green salsa they serve at a place in Connecticut, where Em, our friend Sarah, and I used to sit and bug the waiters by asking “More chips, please!” every five to ten minutes. When I’m up there this month, I intend to insist on the recipe. Or, if I don’t feel that bold, I’ll just study the flavors and try to reverse engineer it.
If I didn’t have that salsa in mind, I think I would have been perfectly happy with this salsa. Next time, I am going to try just boiling the tomatillos (as in this recipe), or maybe slow-roasting them, just to see how that affects the flavor. I’m also going to wait to make it again until the grocery store has jalapenos stocked, because picking random peppers with which I am unfamiliar resulted in a far spicier salsa than I intended. On the plus side, it cleared out my sinuses better than the over-the-counter medicine I was taking when I made it.
Tomatillo Salsa (Salsa Verde)
Adapted from Our Best Bites via Two Peas in a Pod
- 1 lb tomatillos
- 4 medium cloves garlic, unpeeled
- 1 small to medium union
- 1 jalapeno pepper
- Extra virgin olive oil (for brushing the vegetables)
- 1 tsp kosher salt or sea salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper (or Spice Islands medium grind black pepper)
- 1/2 cup, packed, chopped cilantro (about half of a relatively small bunch).
- juice of one lime (1 – 2 TBSP)
- 1/3 cup chopped green onions
Preheat the oven to 500. Line a small cookie sheet with aluminum foil. (See note above for alternative vegetable-cooking suggestions).
Husk the tomatillos and rinse them off with cold water until they are no longer sticky. Cut the stems and any other hard pieces off the top of the tomatillos. If the tomatillos are large, cut them in half, although I think you lose a lot of the good juice if you cut them in half, so I’ll aim for small tomatillos in the future.
Peel and quarter the onions, carefully chopping off any hard bits at the top and bottom. Slice the jalapeno in half lengthwise. If you want a milder salsa, take the seeds out of the jalapeno.
Place the vegetables on the foil-lined sheet, cut-side down. Brush with the olive oil. (The original recipe calls for spritzing of olive oil, but I tried that and didn’t think the vegetables got enough olive oil on them. More importantly, cleaning olive oil out of my little spray bottle was a pain in the neck).
Bake the vegetables for 15 minutes. The vegetables should have started to turn black at this point. If they have not (mine weren’t, because my stove hates me), turn on the broiler and broil for 2 – 3 minutes.
Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and let the vegetables cool (at least 15 minutes).
Squeeze the garlic into the bowl of a food processor. The soft, gooey clove should plop out of the skin easily. Toss in the rest of the vegetables, plus the salt, pepper, lime juice, green onions, and cilantro (reserving some of the green onions and cilantro for garnish). Try to pour in any of the juice that comes out of the tomatillos during the roasting process without tossing in any burned pieces. Process until smooth (or smooth with as many chunks as you care for).
Pour the salsa into a serving dish, add the remaining cilantro and green onions, and dig in. Preferably with chips, but if you want to eat it with a spoon, that’s cool by me. I cannot judge other people’s salsa-consumption habits.