Culinary Keda: Tomatillo Salsa Verde by Makeda Lewis
My mother, who introduced this salsa to our family, got the recipe from a Mexican man who was sifting through mounds of tomatillos at our local specialty store. In spite this of the language barrier; she understood that to make this salsa the tomatillos should be roasted, with other key ingredients being cilantro, garlic, jalapeño and salt. The second trick he told her was to cook only the tomatillo. The cilantro, garlic and jalapeno were to be added fresh to the cooked tomatillo.
On that Saturday, my mom and I went home with our bag of tomatillos and attempted the recipe. The tomatillo salsa came out so great we decided to start growing tomatillos in our garden! The plants are easy to grow and yield a ton. Every harvest gives you enough to feed a small village! Tomatillos do not spoil easily so don’t be afraid to keep some of your freshly bought tomatillo in a fabulous basket on your kitchen counter. They’ll serve as a great conversation piece for the guests you’re having over this weekend.
So how about giving it a try…
- 1 pound husked tomatillos
- 1small white onion
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 jalapeño
- 1/2 bunch cilantro, leaves and tender stems only
- Salt to taste
- Roast tomatillos at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or steam on a very low flame in a covered pot on the stove for about the same time. If cooking on the stove do not add water since they produce a lot of liquid. Remove, cool for about 5 minutes, and then place in a blender (the fast and easy way) with the other ingredients. Pulse slightly to your desired texture. Now, here’s the difficult part. Open a bag of tortilla chips and enjoy!
1. This recipe can be easily adjusted to your liking. You can decrease or increase the onion, garlic, or cilantro. If cilantro is not your favorite herb, feel free to substitute it with one of your choosing.
2. Jalapeños are very hot peppers. The heat is found in the white rib that the seeds are attached to. To make a mild salsa, remove all visible rib, making sure to use a pair of gloves as to not touch the seeds or the white ribs that the seeds are attached to. For some heat add a very small amount of the white part you removed until you reach your desired taste.
3. Tomatillos have a papery outer covering which will be green or light brown in color. Sometimes they are sold without the covering. If you see purple tomatillos, get a few. They will make the salsa sweeter and cut down on the acidity.
4. The skin of the tomatillo is naturally sticky. Just rinse them.
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