Thursday, April 14, 2011

Tomatillo Salsa Verde

I love watching cooking competition shows like Top Chef and Iron Chef (no surprise there). And it makes me really happy when I hear a very seasoned chef say they've never cooked with something before. There are just so many foods in this world, it's nice to know even the professionals can still be humbled or caught off-guard by one lowly fruit or vegetable that they haven't tried. 

I'm not comparing myself to the big wigs, but I am admitting this...I've never cooked a tomatillo (that is, not until now). Don't ask me why; they're pretty plentiful where I live. I just wasn't brought up eating them and never got around to trying them. But I've always liked fresh tomato salsa, so I had a feeling I would really enjoy this. I was right (muy delicioso).

Yield: approx. 2 1/2 cups

1 1/4 lb. tomatillos, husks/stems removed and rinsed
1 (3-4 inch) serrano chile (or more to taste), stemmed and seeds removed
1/3 cup chopped onion (optional)
3 cloves garlic, peeled
3/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves
juice of 1/2 lime (about 1 tablespoon)
1 teaspoon chicken Better-than-Bouillon, or to taste (or salt to taste)

1.      Preheat broiler. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil. Arrange the tomatillos on the sheet pan and broil until blackened in spots, turning once (about 7 minutes per side). Set aside to cool for 5-10 minutes.
2.      Place the chile, onion and garlic in food processor. Process until finely chopped. Add the cilantro and process again until finely chopped.
3.      Add the tomatillos and their juices; process until almost smooth. Add lime juice and chicken bouillon (or salt) to taste.

tomatillos with husks still on

Tomatillos should be firm and bright green (if they're
light green or yellow, they're probably too ripe). The husks
should also be green and look fresh (not too yellow or too dry).

tomatillos with husks & stems removed

It's normal for them to be sticky before you rinse them (rinsing them
will also remove any bits of husk that were hard to remove)
roasted tomatillos
serrano peppers (I only used one, but you can add to taste)
I didn't have any onion, so I doubled the garlic (I love garlic).
But I think onion would be good here.
cilantro added
tomatillos added
everything mixed, except lime juice and seasoning
lime halved

Warning: The chile gains strength overnight, so don't be surprised if your salsa is more potent the next day!


Andria Crowjoy said...

Your use of all this cilantro before season is making me crazy! I'm eating garlic mustard and ramps from the woods to bide my time, but STILL! :P

Susan said...

Sorry...I guess when you see a big, beautiful bunch at the supermarket, you forget about seasons. I admire you for living off the land!

Judie Cleland said...

We are having a Lynchburg family get together Sunday night. This would make a great appetizer. Wonder if I can find tomatillos in Lynchburg? I know Caleb would love this.

Laura said...

Yeah, we eat seasonally, too. But it gives me ideas about what we need to grow this season!

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