Roasted Tomatillo Salsa


Writer and photographer Monica Longenbaker

Once a staple of the Aztec and Mayan cultures, tomatillos are commonly known these days as the champion ingredient in green salsa. Not to be mistaken for a green tomato, tomatillos have a bright, tart flavor and a subtle sweetness. They are grown inside a papery husk and have a sticky film that should be removed before using. Once roasted, the tomatillos begin to yellow and blister, intensifying their sweetness and deepening the flavor of the salsa. Serve alongside a bowl of crunchy tortilla chips or atop tacos or enchiladas for a mouthwatering fiesta.

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

Yield: 6-8 Servings

1½ pounds tomatillos, husks removed and rinsed
2 medium jalapeno peppers
½ medium white or yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
¼ cup cilantro leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the broiler to high heat. Arrange the tomatillos and jalapeno peppers onto a sheet pan. Place the sheet pan under the broiler until the tomatillos and peppers are blackened, about 5-7 minutes. Remove the sheet pan from the oven, flip the tomatillos and peppers, and broil again until blackened. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Remove the stem from the jalapeno peppers. Optional: For less heat, remove the seeds and veins, as well.

Place the jalapenos, tomatillos, onion, garlic, cilantro and lime juice into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse about 8-10 times, or until desired consistency is reached. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Transfer the salsa to a bowl and refrigerate until chilled. Serve with tortilla chips or spoon over tacos or enchiladas. Store the salsa in the refrigerator for up to three days.

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