Oct 9, 2008

Roasted Salsa Verde

I was in a local market gathering ingredients for mole but the tomatillos caught my eye. Mole would take a good part of the day to create but I could have fresh salsa verde in about 20 minutes. More on the mole later, let's concentrate on the salsa. It's quite easy. Roasting the ingredients adds a whole new dimension. It's the same when I make vegetable soups - I roast the veggies first. Boiling or steaming veggies for soup just leaves me, I don't know, wanting more. More substance, more flavor, more depth. It's the same with this salsa.

I took my inspiration from
Rick Bayless who has several recipes for roasted salsas. This one is often reproduced. I used jalapeños instead of serranos and only one. I roasted all of the veggies together rather than roasting the onions separately. And I pulse everything together in the food processor rather than in separate some things like he does.

1 lb. tomatillos, husks removed
1 large jalapeño (seeded or not, depends on your heat tolerance)
3-4 garlic cloves, unpeeled 1 large white onion, chopped into 4-6 pieces
handful of cilantrosalt, to taste
sugar, optional and to taste

I put the whole tomatillos, unpeeled garlic cloves, j
alapeño, and onion wedges in a roasting pan and set it under the broiler on the second closest rack to the heat. I let these broil until dark blotches appeared on the tomatillos. Keep an eye on the jalapeño(s). They roast quickly. Chances are you will have to remove these first. I've had a few jalapeños basically dissolve because I roasted them too long.

Once dark spots appear, take a pair of tongs and turn over everything and continue broiling a few more minutes until some color appears on the veggies. Remove the pan form the oven and let the items cool.

Once the items are cool enough to handle, peel the garlic, remove the skin (and seeds and veins, if necessary) from the
jalapeño, and remove the skin from the tomatillos. Now, the insides of a tomatillo is a gelatinous blob of mostly seeds and some pulp. The core of the tomatillos will give you some trouble so you can either core them before broiling or just take a paring knife and cut around it as you remove the skin. I now combine all the roasted ingredients, plus the cilantro and some salt, in a food processor and pulse a few times. I like my salsa verde not smooth but not chunky. Taste and re-salt, if needed. This last time I added a sprinkling of sugar to take the edge off of the tangy tomatillos. Eat immediately. It will keep a few days in the refrigerator but why wait? Put it on eggs, on tortilla chips, over rice, on top of grilled or baked fish, dip into it with grilled shrimp, add a couple of spoonfuls to chile, etc. You get the idea.


Maggie said...

This looks great! I've eaten tomatillos at restaurants but never bought some until this week. My son saw them and really wanted to know how to cook them. He's love this simple salsa.

vb said...

maggie, you will really like this salsa. If you've never handled them before, just know that are a bit sticky but that's normal. Enjoy!

Kevin said...

Fresh salsa verde is so good and easy to make.

vb said...

Kevin, you are right on the money. A whole batch barely lasts a day around here.


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