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Salsa Verde

April 18, 2009

salsa verde

As the weather gets warmer, chips and salsa move towards center stage.  Last night for my dinner party I wanted something more intersting than the usual red salsa out of a jar to go with my homemade enchilladas with green chilis.  What better than to continue with the green theme and make a refreshing salsa verde.

People are always impressed with homemade salsa, and it is super easy if you have a blender or food processor.  The salsa verde calls for an unusual ingredient that isn’t that typical in American cuisine — tomatillos. 

These strange, green, tomato like fruits should not be confused with green tomatoes — they are not at all the same.  The tomatillo grows in a husk that, when ripe, splits and turns brown.  The fruit inside can be any of a number of colors, but is generally green in the markets in the US.  They have a pleasant tart, fresh flavor that makes this salsa delicious.

I’ve had no problems finding them in our local produce market or at the local Whole Foods, but I imagine in some parts of the country they are harder to find.  Before working with them, you should remove the husks and wash the sticky residue off of them.



  • 1 lb Tomatillos
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 serrano chili
  • salt
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves
  • juice of 2 limes


  1. In a hot pan add oil, tomatillos, garlic, and serrano chili and season with salt.
  2. Stir often, until tomatillos are starting to burst and garlic and serrano chili are charred — about 15-20 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool until you can handle the chili and garlic.  Remove the stem from the chili (and seeds if you want to reduce the heat) and the peel from the garlic cloves.
  4. put the tomatillos, garlic, serrano chili, lime juice and cilantro into the food processor (or blender) and pulse until desirable consistancy.
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