Salsa Verde, where have you been all my life?
I am a girl that has been known to exist almost solely off of chips and salsa for days on end, and after the very first time I made this beautiful Salsa Verde I seriously considered giving up all other foods for the rest of my life – yes, even “normal” salsa. I may have a flare for the dramatic, but this, my friends, is no joke. It’s that delicious.
Adorable tomatillos, jalapeños, cilantro, garlic, lime. How on earth could you possibly resist? Especially when it’s such a cinch to make.
And high-fives for salsa being naturally gluten-free. No recipe tweaks needed! Salsallujah! (<– see what I did there? 😉 )
pretty sure absolutely certain that I would drink this if it were socially acceptable. Perhaps I should rename the recipe “Detox Green Smoothie” so I can get away with it? I’m sure that would totally fly in some circles? right? right? Help me out, folks.
Other than the intense flavor, my second-favorite thing about salsa verde is that it is so extremely versatile – it can be used as a dip, a condiment, an enchilada sauce, a cooking sauce, and on and on and on (recipe for Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Beef Tacos comin’ atcha soon!) The possibilities really are endless. Though, I must admit, since a batch doesn’t last too long in my household, I haven’t had too many chances to do much else with it other than shove it all in my face.
Hi, my name is Leah. I am an unabashed salsa verde addict.
So, tomatillos. Let’s chat about ‘em for a sec.
But first things first – can we take a moment to oooooh and ahhhhhh over how freaking adorable they are in their little jackets? I know for some of you, the word intimidating might come to mind before cute. I know this because the cashiers at the grocery store tend to look at me like I’m either: (A) crazy or (B) a gourmet chef when they see them in my pile-o-groceries (but I guarantee you they are leaning towards option A when I’m going through the checkout process.)
My last shopping experience went a little something like this:
Nice Cashier Lady: “Are these….uhhhh… what are they called? Tomatillos?”
Me: (an overly enthusiastic) “YES!”
Nice Cashier Lady: “So, um, if you don’t mind my asking, what exactly do you DO with them?” (she regretted this question, I can assure you.)
Me: “Two words: salsa verde. Ohmygosh. Have you ever had it? Ohmygoshhhhh. Please tell me you’ve had it. It’s life changing. I’m not joking. You need to go buy some tomatillos and make some RIGHT NOW. Don’t let the tomatillos scare you. You will never be the same.” [Anddddddd, with that, option A was officially confirmed]
But really, don’t let them intimidate you. Their little jackets (husks) peel right off really easily, and you’re left with a completely normal looking green tomato. Not scary at all.
A few ‘tillo tips:
- Opt for the smaller tomatillos. They’re sweeter than their larger friends.
- The husk (or jacket as I call it) should be light brown in color and fresh looking. Avoid the ones with very dry, crackly husks.
- A ripe tomatillo should be firm. Throw all your usual tomato knowledge out the window when evaluating these puppies.
- Tomatillos ARE NOT THE SAME as green tomatoes.
In the process of peeling, don’t freak out if some of the jacket gets stuck to the skin of the tomatillo. It will most likely come right off in the boiling process. Plus, a little extra fiber never hurt anyone (…that I know of).
Now that we’re over our fear of tomatillos, I have just a few quick thoughts for you on the rest of the recipe:
The jalapeños: Adjust the recipe to your own heat tolerance by adding or subtracting a jalapeños or two. I LOVE a good (read: knock you on your butt) kick of heat, so I use 3-4 jalapeños, depending on their size. I also just throw the whole thing straight in the blender, seeds and all. If you’re really heat averse, I’d say use one small one, and you might even want to consider scraping the seeds out before tossing it in the blender. Like a mild kick? I’d go with 1-2. Medium heat? 2-3. Hot to VERY hot: 3-4 jalapeños. So make sure to modify accordingly!
The cilantro: No, you did not read the recipe wrong. Throw some of the stems in the blender along with the leaves – that’s where a ton of the flavor of the plant lies!
- 2 lbs tomatillos
- 3-4 Jalapenos (see note)
- 1 bunch Cilantro, half of stems + all leaves
- ¼ cup onion, chopped
- 2 limes, juice of
- 2 cloves garlic
- Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil.
- Once the water is at a nice rolling boil, peel the jackets off of the tomatillos, rinse, and place into the pot of water. Add the jalapenos to the boiling water at the same time.
- Boil the tomatillos and jalapenos until the tomatillos soften and begin to split. Remove from water with tongs. Reserve 1 cup of water.
- Cut the tops off the the jalapenos (remove the seeds as well if you want less heat)
- Add the tomatillos, jalapenos, cilantro, garlic, and onion to the blender.
- Hold the lid TIGHT, pulse a few times, and then blend until smooth.
- Squeeze in the lime juice, season with salt and pepper to taste, and then pulse a few more times.
- If the salsa looks a bit thick for your taste, add a few tablespoons of the reserved water, blend, and repeat until the salsa reaches your desired consistency.