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Salsa Verde

September 2, 2010

Oh tomatillos.

Why are you so weird?

I’ve avoided using tomatillos for years. Mostly because the little descriptive tag near them describes them as “Like tart apples. Use in sauces”.  Since tomatoes are my favorite fruit/vegetable, why would I want to eat something that looks like a tomato but tastes like an apple, yet I cannot eat it like an apple because I should cook it first?! Every week in the grocery store I would shake my head at them like they are the problem child of the tomato family. Which they are.

Then, I had my mind set on white bean enchiladas. For which many of the recipes called for salsa verde. Like the white pizzas of the enchilada world.

I walked down the Mexican food aisle and gazed at the jars of salsa verde. I’ve had it before, I know I like it. And I know that my favorite problem child was what really made this mild, delicate salsa.I turned jars around to read the ingredients. Number one: tomatillos. If this was any other salsa, I would have no problem making it homemade. But this seemed like an already doomed quest. Plus, I had never looked at a recipe.

With a jar in my basket I went to pick up some real tomatoes for my lunch salads, and saw the tomatillos hiding sheepishly in the display. I picked one up and removed its husk; the green skin was sticky. Ew. But then I looked at the jar in my basket, which while the ingredients seemed to be good quality, there were still preservatives hiding in there to keep everything seemingly fresh. I put the jar on the display, grabbed 6 tomatillos, and went on my way, hoping that I would actually be able to make something out of this or we were having just plain old quesadillas tonight.

After a few minutes of online research, I discovered how simple salsa verde is to make. And my little green husky friends? Boil them whole in a pot of water for 5 minutes and you’re good to go. I can’t believe I had never looked that up before! And what resulted was a light, spicy, and thoroughly enjoyable sauce that I already have bookmarked for my next Mexican theme dinner. Slash I’m eating the leftovers on my lunch salad today. Yum!

Salsa Verde (makes ~3 cups)

6 tomatillos (about 1.5 lbs)
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 chili pepper (depending on how spicy you like it)
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
Juice of 1/2 a lime

Remove the husks from the tomatillos and rinse thoroughly. Put in a saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, let them cook for 5 minutes before removing them from the water with a slotted spoon.

Place all ingredients and the whole tomatillos into a blender. Blend until the tomatillos are broken up and you have a slightly chunky sauce.

Serve however you like – such as on the white bean enchiladas below! This will not be as thick as a regular salsa, but much smoother. It seems watery, but just wait til you taste it. Tons of flavor!

6 Comments leave one →
  1. September 2, 2010 5:03 pm

    I would love to make my own salsa verde. And I agree – why must tomatillos be so odd?? 🙂

  2. September 3, 2010 7:44 am

    Can I just tell you how much I laughed when I read the first sentence of this? You asking tomatillos why they’re weird. haha! This sounds wonderful though!! I love salsas of all kinds 🙂

  3. September 3, 2010 7:02 pm

    they are odd! and i still haven’t tried making this myself, good for you for taking the plunge 🙂

  4. September 6, 2010 8:05 am

    I’m still a tomatillo virgin. Yup, they are weird to me. But next time I come across a recipe calling for them, I know I’ll be thinking, “Sophie did it! Get over it, Cara.”

  5. September 7, 2010 2:30 pm

    Yeah, I’ve never used tomatillos before. I like salsa verde, but I can’t actually recall a time that I’ve seen a tomatillo in the grocery store. Or maybe I have and just never thought twice about it.

  6. September 7, 2010 4:32 pm

    Haha, they are odd! I thought about adding tomatillos to my salsa, but I decided against it. Tried and true recipes aren’t worth altering 🙂

    Those white bean enchiladas look killer! Mmmmm!

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