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I am a salsa lover. If I had to name my top 5 snacks, chips and salsa would definitely be on that list. It’s pretty surprising to ever find my refrigerator without any salsa in it. But I’m usually a tomato based salsa kind of girl. Until lately.

If you remember the crab cakes I made a few months ago, they were served with a tomatillo salsa. Well, that recipe made way more salsa than we needed for the crab cakes, so I had the remainder sitting in my fridge. Most weekdays, for breakfast I scramble up a couple of eggs and eat them on a tortilla with salsa and sometimes cheese – kind of breakfast burrito style. One morning, I decided to substitute my normal salsa with some of the leftover tomatillo salsa. What a great change it was! The tomatillo salsa went so well with eggs – I started using it every morning until that salsa was gone.

So while trying to decide what recipe to make this week, I came across a recipe for tomatillo salsa. I immediately got excited, missing that salsa from my morning breakfasts. This recipe is quite a bit different from the first salsa I made. In the first one, the tomatillos are roasted, while in this one, they are boiled. The first recipe was a bit sweeter from the addition of roasted onions, while this one is spicier with a jalepeno thrown in. If you don’t care for cilantro, this wouldn’t be the recipe for you, as the end result has strong cilantro flavor. I couldn’t tell you which one I like better, though – as the end result is surprisingly different. But I am really enjoying the kick of heat from the jalepeno on this one, so it might have a small advantage over the other.

I learned a few things about tomatillos that I thought was quite interesting.

  • Tomatillos are actually a fruit, not a vegetable.
  • One tomatillo plant will not produce fruit on it’s own. There must be two or more plants for proper pollination.
  • Tomatillos can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. They will last even longer if the papery skin is removed before storing.
  • Tomatillos can actually be found in many colors – yellow, green, red, and even purple!

So if you’ve never experimented with a tomatillo salsa, this would be a great place to start!!
Tomatillo Salsa
from Vegetables by the Culinary Institute of America

Makes approximately 2 cups

10 tomatillos
1 jalepeno, stemmed, seeded and ribs removed (keep ribs and seeds if you want it hotter)
2 garlic cloves
1 bunch cilantro
salt and pepper to taste

Remove husks from tomatillos. Place the tomatillos and the jalepeno in a pan and cover with water. Boil until the tomatillos are fully cooked and have become a dull olive green color, about 10 minutes.

Strain the tomatillos from the water and place them directly in a food processor fitted with a metal chopping blade. Add the jalepeno and garlic. Process until completely smooth. Add the cilantro to the food processor and pulse to chop and incorporate. Season with salt and pepper.

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30 Responses to Cookbook of the Month Recipe – Tomatillo Salsa

  1. dobetter says:

    Yum! I have never thought to make tomatillo salsa, but really like it. This recipe looks great. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Aggie says:

    I loooooooove tomatillo salsa, I think I’ve only made it myself once, but your post has inspired me to make it again! Have a great weekend!

  3. noble pig says:

    I love roasting tomatillos to make salsa, it’s so easy and rewarding!

  4. Kalyn says:

    Sounds good, and I have tomatillos in my garden!

  5. gkbloodsugar says:

    A very interesting fruit, and an even more intriguing use.

    Nice colour!

  6. eatme_delicious says:

    Ooo that looks really good. I extremely love homemade/fresh cut salsa but am not a huge fan of the storebought stuff. Interesting fact about them lasting longer if you remove the papery skins, I would’ve thought the opposite. And makes sense that tomatillos are a fruit since tomatoes are!

  7. Patsyk says:

    I’ve never made anything with tomatillos… do you think I could sub something for the cilantro when making this or would that just kill the flavor all together? We are some of the odd people who don’t care for cilantro… but, I am intrigued by the recipe. what do you think?

  8. Olga Berman says:

    Lovely photos!
    I made tomatillo enchiladas one time for America’s Test Kitchen. The people at the grocery store did not even know they sold them!

  9. Emiline says:

    I love ALL salsas. This one sounds really good.
    I used to be a big baby about how I only liked mild salsa, but not I can take the heat!

    I love the second picture. It would be perfect for Tastespotting. :(

  10. Jenny says:

    This looks great Deborah, nice and fresh for summer!

  11. Scott Barnard says:

    Olga, I made the enchiladas verdes from Cooks Illustrated last weekend (recipe in the recent edition). They were so tasty! The tomatillos give them a nice tang.

  12. kellypea says:

    I can’t get enough of this stuff! And the cilantro flavor sounds perfect. You are so right about being able to keep them — even out of the fridge, they’re a very patient fruit, unlike tomatoes that go bad so quickly if I don’t use them. Now I want some salsa!

  13. Gloria says:

    My daughter makes a great tomatillo salsa; so good, in fact, that I’ve included her recipe in my newest cookbook — Foods & Flavors of San Antonio. http://www.recipeforacookbook.com/flavors

  14. RecipeGirl says:

    You know… I’ve made many a salsa but never with tomatillos. I always enjoy it in a restaurant but I don’t think I really come across good lookin’ tomatillos that often. It looks great!

  15. Vicarious Foodie says:

    When are tomatillos in season? Is it now? I never know what to do when I find a tomatillo recipe, because I can never count on my store having them. Sometimes they’re at Whole Foods, sometimes they’re not. I don’t know what the deal is.

  16. Kevin says:

    Tomatillo salsa is one of my favorites. I am going to have to try it on eggs!

  17. Steph says:

    I love salsa as well. I love making roasted tomatillo and avacado salsa.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Very interesting post. I too love salsa and I didn’t know that tomatillo plants wouldn’t bear fruit if other plants weren’t nearby!

    Ari (Baking and Books)

  19. Katerina says:

    Cooking with Tomatillos has been on y list for a long time and I think this is the easiest recipes I have seen. Plus I am glad that you were inspired enough to try it more then once – definitely a good sign.

  20. Megan says:

    I once planted a tomatillo plant and got beautiful papery things but no fruit inside. Now I know why! The salsa looks great!

  21. Susan from Food Blogga says:

    Love, love, love tomatillos and your salsa! I just made some Friday night with grilled fish. It really perked it up.

  22. White On Rice Couple says:

    I love salsa too, especially tomatillo salsa! I never have made it yet, but am so inspired now! Thanks!

  23. kat says:

    this would be one my husband would love!

  24. Mary says:

    I’ve never had a tomatillo. I’d love to try this!

  25. Cynthia says:

    I think that tomatillo salsa is among the best salsas.

  26. Grace says:

    a few years ago i would’ve laughed if someone had tried to get me to eat anything other than plain, spicy red salsa. i’ve grown. i now really enjoy things like salsa verde and even salsa with a sweet component to it. good stuff, good recipe. :)

  27. Dhanggit says:

    this sounds really good!! and your photos are fantastic!! i saw a similar recipe of tomatillo salsa but its not roasted..i think i prefer your version!

  28. glamah16 says:

    Great ophotos. I much prefer tomitallio salsa to the red versions.

  29. Sophie says:

    This sounds like a great recipe. I am a big fan of enchiladas with the green sauce…I wonder if these can be used in an enchilada recipe? I am so curious to find out! :) I’m making this very very soon!

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