Recipe: What’s a Tomatillo Got to Do With It?
Salsa verde, that’s what.
As you ogle the heirloom tomatoes and inhale the basil at the farm market, don’t forget about the lesser-known (yet ancient — dating to 800 B.C.) tomatillo. Now in season for a limited time, this member of the nightshade family (eggplant, potatoes, peppers and tomatoes, for starters) is the secret to the salsa verde that you’ve come to love at the neighborhood Mexican joint.
All you need to recreate the chips ‘n’ salsa experience is about 15 minutes, start to finish. In fact, a pitcher of margaritas may take more time. Better still, this stuff freezes great, and isn’t just for corn chips anymore. Serve with black beans, scrambled eggs, a piece of grilled fish or chicken, or roasted potatoes.
Hurry while supplies last! This is a great quickie to have in your kitchen arsenal.
P.S. I’ve heard tasty reports of roasting tomatillos before pureeing — anyone ever try this variation?
Ad Hoc Tomatillo Sauce
8 tomatillos, husks removed and cut in half
2-3 garlic cloves, peeled, or more to taste
Juice of 1 lime
Fresh chiles, seeded and finely chopped, to taste (Personally, I like my sauce hot, but it’s perfectly wonderful without heat)
A member of the onion family: 1 scallion, root removed, chopped, or ¼ sweet onion, chopped
Small handful chopped cilantro
Salt to taste
Blanch tomatillos: Add to salted boiling water and cook for about 90 seconds. Drain and rinse under cold water. (KOD note: I prefer them par-cooked, but you can use them raw)
Place tomatillos in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Add garlic lime, chiles (if using), onion and cilantro, and puree until well blended. Add salt and begin to taste, adjusting seasoning as you see fit.
Makes about 2 cups of sauce. Freezes well.