Salsa Verde has become a favorite in our house, but it took a lot of taste testing before we found one that suited us. So if you’ve tried it once and didn’t care for it, don’t give up. This recipe is consistently delicious and FRESH when you make your own Salsa Verde from your home grown ingredients.
A few years ago, our granddaughter, Ella, was talking about the Verde Monster that was upstairs.
One day her mother overheard the word “verde” in an educational tv show Ella was watching and stopped to listen a minute. That’s when she figured out Ella had picked up some Spanish along the way and that her (friendly) monster was Green.
Now I never took any foreign language in school and so the only Spanish I know is agua which I learned from Sesame Street and I can count to ten.
And so begins us old folks learning that verde means green and that we love salsa verde! And it has become our personal favorite over the red salsa.
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I planted tomatillos for the first time a couple of summers ago in my tiny garden. I only had two plants and got just enough fruit to make a couple of
spoonfuls tiny batches of salsa, but I was hooked.
Last year I could not find any plants at all. But this year, with my expanded garden, I found a whole flat of tomatillos so I bought them all.
I was determined to make salsa verde.
All those paper lantern looking things are the tomatillos. They do not turn red like tomatoes. They are ripe and ready for picking when the paper husks dries to actually look and feel papery or when the paper husk splits open to reveal the fruit.
PREPARING THE TOMATILLOS:
First you remove the papery husks.
If they have split open, they come off quite easily.
But if you can’t see any of the tomatillo, that husk is stuck like glue!
There is some kind of ooey, gooey stuff holding that husk on.
It’s not really hard to remove the husk but your hands do get very sticky and the tomatillo is also sticky, so I wash them off with warm water and lay them out to dry.
I have read that this sticky substance is an insect repellent to protect the fruits.
After washing and drying, it is time for roasting.
Gather all the vegetables: tomatillos, onions, garlic, jalapenos, and chilis and coat them with olive oil.
*OLIVE OIL TIP:
A lot of the olive oils you see at the grocery store ARE NOT pure olive oil, but are mixtures of cheaper oils along with the olive oil. This article from Nutrition Advance lists 10 brands of olive oil that are pure.
You might also be interested in this article by Real Food for Life which not only lists good olive oils but also lists several popular brands that do not make the grade.
I only use California Olive Ranch Olive Oil which is 100% olive oil.
TIME TO MAKE THE SALSA:
Starting with the basic recipe from The Yummy Life, mine will vary a little because I never have exactly the amount of ingredients called for. But it is always delicious.
- 2 lbs. tomatillos, husks & stems removed (approx. 25-30 medium size)
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 medium onion
- 1/2 lb. Anaheim green chile peppers; may substitute other large green chiles such as New Mexico or poblano; or, use 2 (4-oz) cans chopped green chiles from the Mexican aisle of the grocery store
- 2 small or 1 large jalapeno
- 1/2 cup cilantro, loosely packed
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons black pepper (optional: use half black pepper & half white pepper)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano (preferably Mexican)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar (may omit if not canning salsa)*
- 1/4 cup bottled lime juice (okay to use fresh if not canning salsa)
Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Bake 15-20 minutes until tomatillos & peppers are charred, softened, and oozing juices.
Store fresh salsa in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Don’t use red peppers if you want a pretty GREEN salsa. Using red peppers will change the color to a murky brownish green and not be nearly as pretty. It still tastes delicious though!
For mild salsa, I added 2 full jalapenos, and 4 DE-SEEDED jalapenos.
For a spicer salsa, I added 4 full jalapenos, and 4 DE-SEEDED jalapenos. This was not burn your tongue hot, but it was spicy and after a few bites you do feel some heat on your tongue.
See more recipes for your garden produce.