Monday, November 2, 2009

Spicy Tomatillo Jalapeno Salsa

We are enjoying beautiful autumn weather at last, but the summer vegetable harvest continues. Eggplant, tomatoes, tomatillos and jalapenos are still plentiful in the garden, so we decided to create a meal that celebrates many of those summer vegetables while they're still around.  A spicy, smoky salsa seemed the perfect place to start.  We paired the salsa with eggplant, black bean and cotija tostadas (recipe coming soon), and had enough salsa left over to use for several days.  This salsa has a kick that stands up to bold flavors, but it doesn't overwhelm the subtle eggplant and cotija flavors in our tostada.  

We are really falling in love with the uniquely sweet and tart flavor of tomatillos.  They are are also good for you.  Tomatillos are an excellent source of iron, vitamin C, niacin and potassium.  This salsa is loaded with complex flavors, but it has zero fat.  Do we have your attention now?  Our friend and fellow blogger Diana had the great idea of freezing extra tomatillos at the end of the season, but they taste so good that it will be a challenge to save any for long.

Spicy Tomatillo Jalapeno Salsa


4       cloves      garlic, whole but peeled
1       pound      tomatillos, husks removed and cut in half
2                      jalapenos (with their seeds), coarsely chopped
                        (feel free to use more if you're a heat freak)
3/8    cup         cilantro (more or less), coarsely chopped
1/2    cup         white onion, finely chopped
1       tsp          salt

  1. Line a 10" cast-iron skillet with aluminum foil.  
  2. Pre-heat empty skillet on stove over moderate heat.
  3. When pan is hot, add 2 garlic cloves and half the tomatillos, cut sides down, and roast until well browned.  Flip over and repeat.  Tomatillos should be completely soft.  Total time is 8-10 minutes.
  4. Put cooked tomatillos and garlic in food processor (but don't do anything yet), line pan with clean foil, and repeat process with remaining garlic and tomatillos.
  5. When all the tomatillos and garlic are cooled to room temperature, add the jalapenos and cilantro to everything in the food processor.  Add 2 Tbs water and pulse until sauce is chunky.  If it's too thick, add 1 more Tbs water.
  6. Remove from food processor and add onion and salt.
  7. Serve immediately or refrigerate.  (Ours was still fresh and full of flavor 3 days later.  It may keep even longer than that if you can keep yourself from eating it all).


  1. I adore roasted tomatillos salsa. I've never lined my cast iron with foil, but I should try that.

  2. I had to print this out. We will love this, and nothing in it to make us fat!

  3. Fab recipe! So green! And healthy too. Great recipe :D

  4. I love tomatillos, aren't they the cutest??

  5. Sounds wonderful - I could eat this salsa on anything! I fell in love with tomatillos this summer after picking up some beauties at the farmers market. Great in so many dishes.

  6. Perfect amount of heat... I'm a two-jalapeno kinda girl myself :)

    Out of curiosity, why do you line the pan with foil? Will they stick otherwise? Or is it to distribute the heat more efficiently, maybe?

  7. yum! what a beautiful green salsa dish!

  8. I love tomatillo salsa, this sounds so yummy!

  9. I tried this recipe for dinner last night to spoon over mahi-mahi. It was delicious! I had some of the left-over salsa with nacho chips; again, delicious. I've bookmarked this recipe. Thank you!


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