What a difference homemade salsa is from the store-bought counterparts. I recently made this salsa recipe for the first Halal Test Kitchen event where I was able to easily demonstrate the making of this recipe in under a few minutes. Everyone at the event was able to make their own tacos and top with this delicious green salsa they now knew how to make.
These tomatoes from my community garden spot were perfect for this salsa, but traditionally, tomatillos are used instead. It just goes to show how versatile this recipe is–and very helpful when those tomatoes sitting on your vine just won’t ripen at the end of summer, yet it’s too cold to keep them outdoors any longer. More often than not, I make this salsa with tomatillos. They are easily found at Mexican grocers or international markets that cater to an Hispanic customer base, or simply those who love to cook interesting, multicultural cuisine. I like to give mine a bath in cool water to rinse off any dirt and debris before cooking, otherwise all that stuff just stays around them.
I remove the husks as well and give another thorough rinse. The tomatillos may feel a bit sticky, which is normal. Don’t try to do anything about that- just proceed and the stickiness goes away in the cooking process.
This is a cooked salsa so you’ll need to plan accordingly if you’re making it for a party or to go with a particular recipe. It really doesn’t take that long to make, but you still need to allow for the cooking-and cooling off- of the tomatillos plus the chili pepper or jalapeño and garlic that is boiled with it.
Approximately 15 minutes of cooking and an additional 10 for cooling down after straining the cooked produce. Strain it gently because the tomatillos become so soft that you can lose some valuable contents in this process.
Because I throw in the garlic with the skin on, you can peel after the cooking and cooling process. It’s much easier than trying to fight it beforehand.
Once everything has cooled, you can add salt and cilantro to a food processor with the cooked ingredients and give it a whirl.
It doesn’t take long and the mixture is slightly gelatinous, which is normal.
That helps the tortilla chips to cling to the salsa, anyway…
And it makes it easier to spoon onto tacos, too…
This was my friend and neighbor’s reaction when she first tried it- so I asked if I could quote her, just for fun…
“The salsa was great. While there are a few brands of salsa out there that can be eaten with a spoon/fork like an Arabic style tomato salad, this one is definitely the kind that goes with nacho chips! Tasting it alone with my tongue was average good; Eating it with the chips makes it perfect! The salsa compliments the chips, and the chips make the flavor of the salsa stand out! It totally serves the purpose of a salsa and it certainly fits the original definition of sauce!”
Tomatillo Salsa (Green Tomato Salsa)
By June 22, 2009Published:
- Yield: 2 cups
- Prep: 15 mins
- Cook: 20 mins
- Ready In: 35 mins
Quick to make, this cooked salsa is great on tacos with meat or fish or simply as a chip dip. Easy to make for a crowd or small serving, too.
- 3 cups water
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 whole jalapeño pepper
- 1 pound green tomatoes or tomatillos
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup cilantro fresh
- 1/3 cup white onion (optional) finely chopped
- In a deep saucepan, bring the water to a boil.
- Add the garlic, jalapeño pepper, and tomatoes.
- Cook on medium-low heat for about 20 minutes.
- Drain ingredients gently in a colander, careful not to loosen up the tomatoes and seeds. Place a plate underneath the colander, if necessary, to catch any large chunks of tomato. Let cool for about 10 minutes.
- Remove the skin from the garlic and the stem and seeds from the jalapeño pepper.
- To a food processor, add the cooked ingredients, plus the salt and cilantro. Combine for about 10-15 seconds or until the mixture is smooth.
- Pour mixture into serving bowl and add finely chopped onion, if desired. Serve at room temperature and refrigerate any leftovers.