Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Delicious Salsa Verde

I love green salsa. I learned to make it a few years ago from a variety of sources, but I simply do not make it often enough. I have been seeing green salsa more and more on store shelves, but it is really not the same as making your own from fresh tomatillos. In the past when I have made this salsa I have roasted the tomatillos and peppers under the broiler and also in a skillet on the stove. For this batch, I opted to fire up the grill and that worked perfectly.

The salsa really could not be easier. Tomatillos and peppers of choice are roasted until blackened, and then whirred in a blender with onions, toasted cumin, cilantro, lime juice and sea salt, and the result is a wonderfully tangy salsa that goes on just about anything. In fact, if you leave out the cilantro and lime juice the green sauce can also be used to braise a bit of pork, and then you finish the sauce with lime juice at the end for a very traditional green stew. Regardless, I love cooking with tomatillos and exploring their versatility. Next year in fact, I want to attempt growing tomatillos, because according to the Manic Organic, tomatillos are very easy to grow and very productive. Seeing how I haven't had much luck with tomatoes, maybe I need to go a different route. Anyway. Salsa Verde, it's a very excellent thing.
Salsa Verde
adapted from a Cooking Light recipe

2 teaspoons cumin seeds
jalapeno peppers
pounds tomatillos, husks removed and tomatillos washed
1/4 cup chopped yellow onion

cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
teaspoon sea salt

Place cumin seeds in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat, and cook 2 minutes or until toasted. Transfer seeds to a spice or coffee grinder, and process until finely ground.

Cut 1/4 inch off stem ends of peppers; discard stem ends. Using the tip of a paring knife, carefully remove and discard membranes and seeds, leaving peppers intact.

Using an outdoor grill or an indoor grill pan, place tomatillos and peppers on the grill over medium-high heat. Cook until charred on all sides- about 15 minutes. Put grilled tomatillos and peppers in a small bowl to catch juices.

Transfer the tomatillos and peppers to a blender, and puree until smooth. Add the onion, and pulse 5 times or until blended. Pour pepper mixture into a medium bowl. Stir in cumin, cilantro, lime juice, and salt.


Deborah said...

I've never tried to make my own salsa verde - I really need to!!

april said...

This looks so delicious! Sadly, tomatillos are really hard to come by here, but I will keep my eyes peeled. This together with your "sober drunk" beans looks like a really tasty meal.

Erika said...

Deborah, it's really easy.

April, in a pinch you could use canned tomatillos- then I would run them under the broiler to char them instead of grilling. I can find the canned ones in the hispanic aisle at my grocery store- it might be worth checking out.

sullicom said...

Roasting the tomatillos is a great touch. My wife picked up a similar recipe when we lived in Texas and we've brought it with us to Maryland. As April notes, tomatillos are sometimes hard to find here, too. But we've never made the salsa with the roasted ones. Looking forward to giving it a whirl.

Nika said...

Growing tomatillos is like falling off a truck, just the easiest thing. I LOVE the Manic Organic, have a crush on that guy and I dont even want to either! Tomatillos will bring you TONS of bees so plant it near plants that need insect-mediated pollination.

You will likely need to stake them. I am getting ready to start harvesting mine and I am going to do some on the grill for sure!


Erika said...


Now that's my kind of plant- if I kill tomatillos I think I need to stop gardening. I could have used more bees in my melon/cucumber patch, so I will keep that in mind. Thanks for the tips!