If you've ever eaten at a Mexican food restaurant, chances are you've eaten tomatillo salsa, or salsa verde, as it is often called. However, you may not know what a tomatillo actually is. It is not an unripened tomato, as the name may lead one to believe. In fact, it is not a tomato at all, but a cousin in the same nightshade family that is native to Mexico, and found in much of the Mexican cuisine. The plant produces a firm, round, (usually) greenish fruit, covered in a paper like husk, that has a slightly tart and herbaceous flavor. Tomatillos are often roasted, broiled, or sauteed before adding to dishes or using as a condiment for dipping, or topping plates, such as tacos, enchiladas, or meats. Each method of preparation brings a slightly different flavor to the salsa, and can take varying lengths of time to cook.
Personally, I like the fresh, tart taste of a simple tomatillo salsa, which requires no prepping beforehand, and is quick and easy to make. It's simple to throw together before a party, and will impress your friends with it's not so run of the mill flavor! There a few variations you can make to tailor this recipe to your own taste, which you will find at the bottom of the recipe.
6-10 tomatillos (depending on size)
1 medium onion
1 jalapeno or hot pepper
2 cloves of minced garlic
Juice of 1/2 lime
Salt and pepper to taste
How to make:
Peel the husks from tomatillos and rinse under water to remove sticky residue. Roughly chop tomatillos, onion, and jalapeno, before combining with garlic, lime juice, salt, and pepper, in a food processor or blender. Pulse until mixture has fairly smooth consistency.
Pour mixture into a sauce pan and cook on high for 10-15 minutes to reduce liquid. When the salsa begins to thicken, remove from heat and allow to cool before serving. Store leftovers in an air tight container in the fridge, and use within 1-2 weeks.
*Variations to this recipe. The type of onion you use can drastically change the flavor. I chose a red onion to give it a little kick, which can also be achieved with a white onion. For a more mild taste, use a sweet or yellow onion. If you like spicy, but don't want to be lit up, seed and core your jalapeno before using. For spicier, leave the seeds, or use a hotter pepper, such as a serrano. You can add more garlic, lime juice, or salt and pepper as needed, and can even throw in a little cilantro if you like. Play with it until you achieve the taste you like.
It's funny because my Salsa Verde isn't actual verde, due to the purple onions I used.