Tomatillos, known as tomates in México, are one of the primary ingredients in salsa verde.
I love this salsa on simple quesadillas, the Mexican version of a grilled cheese sandwich. Enchiladas verdes, tortillas stuffed with chicken and smothered in a green salsa gravy, is one of my favourite dishes when I’m in Mexico.
According to Chef Rosanna, tomatillos are ripe when the husk is separated from the tomatillo. The inedible husks are removed and then the tomatillos MUST be cooked —they can NOT be eaten raw!
(Although the last time I bought some the woman next to me said she cuts them up and uses them in salads. I tried it but they were really sour – maybe that’s what Rosanna meant by inedible!)
To cook, peel off the husks, wash and then chop, later sweating them with onions, garlic and other ingredients in the sauce…
They can also be cooked whole. Simmer them until they are soft but not until they burst.
Tomatillos, known as tomates in México, are one of the primary ingredients in salsa verde, along with cilantro (coriander leaves), onion, serrano chiles, and garlic. (Regular red tomatoes are known as jitomates in México.)
The best salsa verde we made in my Mexican cooking class was for the Picaditas del Puerto although I suspect the handmade tortillas were part of that great flavour experience.
The BEST Salsa Verde recipe
- 8 to 10 tomatillos (don’t chop)
- 1/4 onion (chop)
- 2 to 5 garlic cloves (chop)
- 4 jalapeños or serranos (remove seeds, then chop)
- 3/4 bunch cilantro (chop)
- 1 heaping tsp Chicken-in-a-Mug dissolved in about 1/2 cup water (or 1/2 cup chicken broth)
- Salt to taste
Simmer the whole tomatillos and chopped chiles, onion and garlic in lightly salted water until the tomatillos turn dull green and everything is tender.
Drain the vegetables and then blend with the cilantro and about half a cup of chicken broth. I used an immersion blender for this and just blended it in the pot – so much easier to clean up.
Add salt to taste, then simmer a little longer to blend in the cilantro and reduce the salsa to the thickness you want.