This slightly spicy green salsa really hits the spot on a hot day, along with a bowl of chips and a cold drink. The charred, tangy taste of the tomatillos with the just-right heat of jalapenos makes an addictive combination and a nice alternative from tomato-based salsas. We like to make it in the morning so it’s chilled by day’s end when we’re ready to kick back. Great with tacos too.
Tomatillos, in their neat little husks, need to be de-husked then washed well before using since the sticky/waxy coating on the skins contain saponins. These secondary plant compounds create a soap-like froth so trust us, it’s not something you want to taste in you salsa (it’s not poison, just nasty tasting). We like purple but yellow or green tomatillos are fine. When the husks seem like they are bursting open, the fruits are at maximum ripeness.
1 pound ripe tomatillos, about 2-3 cups, larger ones cut in 1-2 inch pieces.
3 garlic cloves, peeled
¼ medium onion
1 large jalapeno (use Serrano for more heat or use 1/2 for less heat)
¾ cup fresh cilantro
½ tsp salt
HOW TO MAKE IT:
Step One: Char the tomatillos.
Cover a comal (a Mexican flat griddle) or regular pancake griddle completely with foil. On the stove using high heat, cook tomatillos, garlic and onion until charred, turning from time to time so that all sides are slightly blackened. Be sure to use a silicone or wooden spatula so you don’t rip the foil.
Step Two: Let the salsa cook down.
Turn heat to medium for 3-5 minutes. Cover with a lid and turn off heat. The tomatillos should be juicy. , carefully scrape the juices off the foil along with the blackened bits.
Step Three: Blend the ingredients.
Place in a food processor (or use a hand mixer or blender) with hot pepper and salt. Process until the hot pepper is well blended and add cilantro. Process until smooth but not pureed. For a milder taste, you can cook the jalapeno along with the tomatillos, which will significantly reduce the heat.