Sunday, September 6, 2015

Fresh Tomatillo Salsa

Tomatillos grow like weeds in our garden. Many are volunteers from the previous year - including several plants sprouting from the compost pile. Due to the unusual growing season, this year's crop survived but produced small fruits.

Tomatillos are in the  nightshade family (along with tomatoes, eggplant and ground cherries). The fruit is green when ripe and grows in a papery husk. We grow tomatillos from seed, but I've recently noticed more greenhouses offering starts.

The flavor of tomatillo salsa is brighter than a traditional red salsa. In addition to eating with tortilla chips, I like to use it as an enchilada sauce with pork and chicken fillings. This recipe freezes well - make a double patch and pop some in the freezer!

Tomatillos grow in a papery husk. To use, remove the husk and rinse off the sticky residue.

Roast tomatillos, pepper and garlic on a rimmed baking sheet.

Roasted vegetables will soften and darken. Remove to a food
processor and grind along with cilantro, lime juice and water. 

Chop and rinse onions. Add to salsa (don't grind onions).

This salsa tastes best after it sits a day in the fridge.

Where's the margaritas?

Fresh Tomatillo Salsa
Adapted from Rick Bayless
Makes about 2 cups

16 ounces tomatillos, husked and rinsed
1 fresh jalapeno, stemmed
3 large garlic cloves, peeled
Handful of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp lime juice
2 Tbsp water
1 medium white onion, finely chopped

Roast the tomatillos, pepper and garlic on a rimmed baking sheet 4 inches below a very hot broiler, until blotchy and softening (they’ll be turning from lime green to olive), about 5 minutes. Flip them over and roast the other side. Cool, then transfer everything to a blender, including the juice the tomatillos have exuded during roasting. Add the cilantro and lime juice and water, then blend to a coarse puree. Scoop into a serving dish. Rinse the onion under cold water, then shake to remove excess moisture. Stir into the salsa and season with salt, about 1 teaspoon.