Friday, 7 June 2013

Salsa Verde

I mentioned recently that I've moved to a new town.  Well - I've heard people refer to it as a city - but I'm not sure I would go that far....

A new and interesting challenge that I've come across is the availability of grocery items. 

On May long weekend, my parents came to visit and I decided I NEEDED to make these Shrimp Enchiladas by The Girl Who Ate Everything IMMEDIATELY. 

My Mom and I were shopping together, and after we got to a second grocery store and STILL couldn't find salsa verde, she suggested I just use red salsa.


Thus ensued an argument about how they were completely NOT the same thing and couldn't be substituted for each other and I was NOT going to use red salsa and I would come up with a plan and WHY was she always DOING this to me?

Or maybe it was just me yelling at her and Mom was left flabbergasted at how she could have raised such a FREAK for a daughter.

Then I set about to find a recipe for salsa verde.  Something easy and accessible.

I went to a reliable source by the name of Josie at Pink Parsley.

Sure enough, she had a recipe that would work perfectly.

Before I go any further - is it strange to only me that we can get TOMATILLOS in town, but not pre-made salsa verde?

But - there it is.

Oh, and guess what?  This recipe is so easy it's unreal.

Here's a little information from me to you. 

Tomatillos are not green tomatoes.  You would think they are - but they're not.  They're actually a member of the nightshade family and similar to a gooseberry. 

When cut in half, they smell delightfully like a crab apple.

When choosing your tomatillos make sure the husk is supple and pliable and not too dried out.  Also squeeze them gently - if firm, they're ready to use.  Also, when the fruits are ripe and ready to be used, the fruit underneath the strange paper husk will be sticky.  It's weird, but a little soap and warm water cleans them right up.

Enough yakking.  Let's get to making this salsa verde.

Heat a frying pan over medium heat.  Cut the tomatillos in half and put them, the garlic, and the jalapeno on the frying pan.

Brown each side of the tomatillos and the garlic, and transfer to a blender or a food processor.

Roast the jalapeno turning until each side is toasted and crisp and the skin is loose.  I recommend putting the jalapeno into a ziploc bag until it's cool.  Then peel off the skin, cut it in half and scoop out the membrane and seeds, give it a rough chop and throw in the blender with the tomatillos and garlic.

Add in some roughly chopped onion, cilantro, water, and lime juice.

Pulse to combine to desired consistency.

I was only using a little of the salsa verde for the enchiladas, so I measured out what I needed and stuck the rest in freezer.

A little while later, my Mom - ever the sceptic - came in the house and asked if the salsa was done and could she try some.  Of course, I replied.

She got a little on a spoon and her eyes widened in surprise.

Then I had to fight her off with a stick.

I believe her exact comment was "I'm so glad you made this!".

And pretty much the whole shebang got eaten up by the rest of the family.

Except for the 1/2 cup that I was guarding.

The salsa is light and fresh and spicy, but not TOO spicy.  And really, so easy to make.

Now the question becomes - why buy it when it's so easy to make?  Also, I like the idea of making the salsa from scratch because then I can control the spice level.

Thanks to Josie for a perfect salsa verde recipe (and for saving supper too!).

xoxo - the Cane girl
Salsa Verde

4 - 5 medium tomatillos (about 8 ounces)
2 large garlic cloves
1 jalapeno
1/3 cup loose packed, roughly chopped cilantro
1/2 small white onion
juice from 1/2 a lime
salt, if desired
  1. Peel, clean, and cut the tomatillos in half.
  2. Peel the garlic.
  3. Place the tomatillos cut side down in a frying pan over medium heat.  Add the garlic and jalapenos.  Cook the garlic and tomatillos until browned, then flip over and brown the other side.   The tomatillos will be very soft.
  4. Take the garlic and tomatillos and put them in a blender or food processor.
  5. Continue roasting the jalapeno, turning so all sides are blackened.  When blackened, put the jalapeno into a ziploc bag until cooled.  Peel the skin from the pepper, split open and scrape out the seeds and membrane and discard.  Roughly chop the remains and add to the blender or food processor.
  6. Roughly chop the onion and cilantro and add to the blender or food processor.
  7. Add 1/4 cup water and lime juice and pulse until the desired consistency is reached.  Add salt if desired (about 1/2 teaspoon should be best).
Source:  Pink Parsley


  1. He he! Next time make a red one and let mum try it then see what she thinks about that. ❧

  2. I'm totally up for it!!