Tomatillos are small, green tomato-like vegetables with husks that are uniquely Mexican. The fruit dates back to 800 B.C. and was domesticated by the Aztecs years (centuries?) later. Even though the Spanish conquistadors probably brought in home along with the larger red tomato, it never stuck in Europe. Tomatillos earn their diminutive name by their petite size. What really makes them unique in appearance is their paper-like cellulose husk that resembles the shape of a small green paper lantern. They make a great base for sauces and salsas, like this version of salsa verde.
Charred Salsa Verde – Cooked Green Salsa
- Food Processor or blender
- Baking pan
- Aluminum foil
- Medium saucepan
- 24 oz Tomatillos, husks removed; either canned & drained or fresh cut in half.
- 1 medium White onion, peeled and halved
- 4 large Serrano or jalapeno peppers, stemmed and split in half. Remove seeds and ribs for milder heat.
- 14 sprigs Cilantro, bottom inch discarded.
- 1 tbsp Vegetable oil
- Kosher salt
- Broil Vegetables – Adjust oven rack to 4-inches below broiler and preheat to high. Place tomatillos, onion, and chilis on a foil-lined baking pan. Broil until onions charred, about 10 minutes.
- Blend Vegetables – Transfer broiled vegetables and juices to a blender/processor and add half the cilantro and pulse until a rough puree is reached.
- Cook Salsa – Heat oil in saucepan over high heat. When hot, pour salsa into the hot oil and step back. Begin stirring with a wooden spoon until salsa is darkened and coats the back of the spoon, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Serve – Season with salt and add remaining cilantro. Put in a bowl and let it cool before serving.
- Salsa can be refrigerated in a sealed container for about a week.
- If fresh tomatillos are hard to find, the cans ordered online can be quite good.