Thursday, July 18, 2013

Roasted Salsa Verde (Tomatillo Salsa)

Bright and tart, The 99 Cent Chef's Roasted Salsa Verde will have you emptying a bag of tortilla chips. So I apologize for showing you how to made a delicious salsa that you can't stop dipping chips into.

This taco truck favorite cools down any grilled carnitas or carne asada taco filling. It's always difficult choosing sides: spicy and smokey Salsa Roja (recipe here,) fresh chopped Pico de Gallo (recipe here,) or a tart Salsa Verde.

Los Angeles has Latin markets in almost every neighborhood, so it's easy to find the main ingredient in a Salsa Verde, tomatillos. Even some regular markets around town carry them. And they are certainly cheap enough, usually less than a dollar per pound.

Select a tomatillo that's pale to bright green (under the papery husk) and hard like an apple. You are basically making a dipping sauce for chips, veggies, or a topping for tacos, burritos and enchiladas.

Every Lating eatery make their own version. Some are made mild with boiled and crushed tomatillos, others are roasted sweet with black flecks of charred tomatillo and chiles (my version,) and at the Border Grill, here in LA, they do theirs super sour and fresh, with what must be barely cooked, or raw tomatillos! I love them all.

I like to roast my tomatillos with a bit of onion, garlic and a chile or two, then blender it all together. I find that baking the veggies makes a sweeter salsa. But you could just boil the tomatillos for a few minutes or more, the longer you cook them the less tart the salsa. (Next time I'm doing the boiling method for variety.)

So if you can find tomatillos by all means try out the Chintzy Chef's brightly flavored Roasted Salsa Verde - it will be a new favorite for you.

Ingredients (enough for a party of 3-5)
  • 3 pounds of tomatillos - or about 10 medium sized tomatillos
  • 1 whole large onion - white or yellow
  • 1 clove chopped garlic - or 1/2 teaspoon from jar.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • 2 large chiles or a couple smaller ones - optional. Mild like a pastilla (poblano,) anaheim, or any peppers. Okay to add a jalapeno, but add a little at a time to desired spicyness.

Heat oven to 375 degrees, Peel off papery husk covering to reveal bright green tomatillos. Also peel a large onion and cut into quarters.

Spread out tomatillos, chiles, and chopped onion on a large cookie sheet (or large pan.) It's okay if veggies touch each other - you could even do some stacking if your pan is too small.

Bake for about 45 minutes until tomatillos start to brown/blacken. They do not need to blacken all over - same with the chiles. Okay to remove any ones early, that blacken too much. I like to have about half black/green tomatillos.

After roasting tomatillos, onion and chiles in the oven, remove and allow to cool about 5 minutes.

For the chiles, peel off some of the skin and remove the stems and seeds. You don't need to remove all the charred skin.

To a blender or food processor add the roasted tomatillos, chiles, onion and one teaspoon chopped garlic. Pulse/blend until smooth, about 30 seconds to a minute. (You can blend half the ingredients at a time if you have a small food processor like mine.)

Finally salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

I made my Roasted Salsa Verde with mildly spicy chiles, but you could leave them out for a cooler version.

You can just low boil or steam the tomatillos and onions for about 10-20 minutes until soft. Or simmer for 5 minutes for a fresh and tart salsa. Finally blend it all together.

Salsa Verde will keep a week or so refrigerated.


Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness! That looks fabulous.

Louise said...

I can"t wait to try this recipe. I grew tomatillo in my garden last summer. The plants took over the whole bed. I had to pull them up so the sun could reach the tomatoes. I did make a Salsa Verde by boiling them then placing them in the blender. It was good but roasting them first? How awesome. Everything tastes better roasted. I couldn't fine the recipe for Salsa Roja.

99 Cent Chef said...

hi Louise, yeah, roasting tomatillos took the recipe over the top -- the link for Salsa Roja is working can also find stuff on my blog by entering an ingredient (or recipe name) in the "search" window at top right of blog ;-p

oddlyme said...

99 Cent Chef - you rock!

I LOVE salsa verde but thought it was this huge complex thing. So I buy bottles of the stuff and guard it jealously.

Thanks to you, today I made my first batch, using tomatillo's I roasted on the grill - and it's awesome!

The flavor is complex but the method? Easy.

Thank you so much for sharing this, I am a happy, happy girl.

Chris G said...

Always on the look out for new recipes - thanks :) Love the site, pictures, and some great recipes :)

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