Sunday, October 30, 2011

Tomatillo Salsa (Salsa Verde)

I went to the farm with a few friends three Sunday's ago for fall picking.  The farm had been hit by a frost and it wiped out most of the garden.  While root vegetables like beets, carrots and potatoes were fine, other veggies like okra, peppers and tomatoes were essentially wiped out.  The tomatillos were also hit by the frost, and the plants looked pretty sad, but I think the outer husk saved the fruit.  I was able to harvest almost six pounds.  I made this salsa and am happy to say I like the end result.  Do you know how nice it will be to have pork or chicken enchiladas in the middle of winter with this lovely sauce? Again, I don't have lots of pictures to share...forgot the camera when we were at the garden, thought I had pictures of the fresh tomatillos once I had returned home, was in too big of a hurry on canning day to take pictures as I went, so this picture of the end result is all there is...only if you could taste whats in the jar...

This recipe is loosely based from one in Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen cookbook.  Water bath processing times based on our elevation of 5,500ft and the Ball Blue Book Canning Guide, 2003 edition.

Salsa Verde

makes approximately 6 pints

6 pounds tomatillos, papery husks and stems removed, rinsed
2 tbsp canola oil
3 medium onions, peeled, medium dice
15 jalapenos, stems removed, small dice (seeds and all for added heat)
15 cloves garlic, peeled, minced
2 tsp ground cumin
2 bunches fresh cilantro, chopped
4 fresh limes
approx 1 1/2 tbsp kosher salt, or to taste
fresh cracked black pepper
approx 2 tbsp agave or honey, or to taste

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.  Place tomatillos on a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast for 20-35 minutes, turning occasionally, until blackened in spots and the tomatillos are soft, collapsed and leaking. Meanwhile, preheat a large stainless steel stockpot over medium high heat.  When hot, add canola oil and saute onions, jalapenos and garlic that have been lightly sprinkled with kosher salt and pepper. Cook until translucent.  Add roasted tomatillos and bring to a simmer. At this point I used an immersion blender and pureed the mixture to a consistency of my liking.  I wanted a bit of small chunks to remain. Feel free to puree to the consistency you desire.  If you do not have an immersion blender, you can puree batches of the this in the blender or food processor. Keep in mind the liquid is hot and you will need to have an opening for steam to escape so that you do not have a green volcanic eruption!  Once pureed, return mixture to a simmer, add and mix in half the kosher salt, cumin, chopped cilantro and the juice of four fresh limes.  At this point taste. Balance the flavors by adding more salt if needed.  Use agave  or honey to further balance the flavor should the salsa seem too acidic. When you are happy how the salsa tastes, ladle the hot salsa into sterilized jars, leaving 1/2" head space at the top. Use a clean damp cloth to wipe the rims of the jars, then put a flat lid and ring on each jar. Screw bands on jars to finger tight. Place jars in a boiling water bath with water covering jars by at least one inch.  Bring to a boil, and process for 20 minutes.  Remove jars from bath and allow to cool on a towel. After one hour, check that the lids have sealed by pressing down on the center of each; if it can be pushed down, it hasn't sealed, and the jar should be refrigerated immediately. Enjoy!


  1. Just a question about the canning of this recipe, is it a tested, safe recipe to can?