Roasted Tomatillo Salsa Verde
Fire roasted tomatillos and cherry tomatoes pair beautifully with spicy jalapeno, onion, and garlic in this non-traditional Roasted Tomatillo Salsa Verde. A little sweet, a little tangy, a little spicy – all delicious.
There are lots of reasons I love belonging to a CSA. I love the idea of supporting farmers before the season starts, guaranteeing their income regardless of weather outcomes on crops. I love the local aspect, eating food grown so close to my home and in season.
But my favorite part of a CSA? Trying things I probably wouldn’t buy otherwise.
Broccoli and green beans are consumed by the pound in our house. Tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers of all colors and spiciness.
These are vegetables I can cook with in my sleep, which is basically how I’ve been cooking lately. (Working full time, food blogging, and a teething 16-month-old who keeps me up all night is exhausting.)
But then the CSA comes around and gives me a bunch of tomatillos, and suddenly I’m inspired to shake up our normal kitchen routine with this amazing homemade roasted tomatillo salsa verde.
Easy Homemade Salsa Verde with Tomatillos
At its simplest definition, salsa verde is a green sauce.
There are two major types: Italian (made with olive oil, garlic, capers, and anchovies) and Mexican (made from tomatillos, onion, garlic, and cilantro).
Given that the title of this recipe is roasted tomatillo salsa verde, you can clearly figure out which kind we’re making here.
The green (i.e., verde) comes from the tomatillos, also sometimes called husk tomatoes. They’re covered in a thin, papery husk, which you peel away. The tomatillo underneath has a sticky feeling to it which rinses off when you wash it. They’re a little more acidic and a little less sweet than tomatoes, which is one of the reasons why they’re SO good in salsa. It’s a more complex, vegetable-like flavor, with a hint of acid.
Fire Roasting Vegetables for the Best Salsa Verde
I’ll be the first to admit that this isn’t traditional salsa verde, because it contains both tomatillos and tomatoes. So maybe it’s salsa verde-ish. Or salsa verde y rojo. Salsa verde rojizo? Whatever you want to call it, it’s freaking delicious.
The first time we received tomatillos in our CSA, I only received two. I could have made the world’s tiniest batch of authentic salsa verde… or I could throw in some other tomatoes we had and make a tomatillo-tomato salsa hybrid.
You can tell which option I tried.
The slightly acidic flavor of the tomatillos. Sweet cherry tomatoes. Spicy jalapeno, the bite of onion and garlic.
It’s as simple as fire roasting a sheet pan full of vegetables under the broiler until slightly charred, then blending together with lime juice and cilantro.
That’s it. A handful of ingredients and about 5 minutes of actual hands-on prep time.
There are a few ways you can fire-roast your vegetables. You can cook them over a grill, place them on a rack over the open flame of a gas oven, or my personal favorite way: use the broiler in your oven. Place the vegetables on a sheet pan, place an oven rack on the top position, and broil until the outside of the vegetables really start to blacken. Flip the veggies and repeat, ensuring both sides are charred.
Why are we charring the vegetables as opposed to gently roasting them, boiling them, or using them raw? It’s time for my favorite subject… kitchen chemistry!
When vegetables are fire-roasted or charred, the surface of the food is exposed to a high temperature and intentionally burt to add additional flavors. When foods are roasted, they undergo the Maillard browning reaction, a chemical reaction between sugars and amino acids which form additional flavor compounds. Charring takes these a step further to produce compounds with a smoky, caramelized taste.
How to Use Homemade Salsa Verde
I had all these ideas for how I would use the salsa verde, and instead, I just ate it with a spoon right out of the food processor.
I loved it so much, the next week I requested a bulk order of tomatillos from our CSA so we could actually cook with it.
This One Pot Pork Chile Verde is a great place to start — pork tenderloin simmered in your homemade salsa verde.
Drizzle it on grilled shrimp, steak, or chicken. Spoon some into tacos, burritos, or quesadillas. Stir some into soft scrambled eggs. Pour a little on salad. (And of course, the obvious: dip a whole bag of chips right on in there!)
Or just eat it off the spoon, because homemade roasted tomatillo salsa verde is so dang delicious.
How to Store Salsa Verde
First off, storing your excess may not be a problem… because you may not have any left.
Even starting with 3 pounds of tomatillos, we used up all the salsa in a week. And this makes a lot of salsa. I’d say you could easily go ahead and halve the recipe so you don’t have quite so much… but you should probably make it all.
Or you know, go ahead and double it, because it’s addictively good. Make a double (triple! quadruple!) batch while tomatillos are in season and save for later.
Fresh salsa verde can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
For longer storage, make a large batch and freeze for up to 6 months
So go ahead and double the recipe. (Triple! Quadruple!) Stock up on all those tomatillos this summer, make lots of batches, and stock your freezer for the winter so you can make pork chile verde in the middle of January.
Or you know, make a triple batch and still all eat it with a spoon. Because that’s my plan for the rest of summer.
- 3 pounds tomatillos, husks removed
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 2 large jalapeno peppers
- 1 large onion, cut into 8 pieces
- 1 head of garlic, separated into cloves and peeled
- large handful of cilantro, stems and leaves
- juice of 1 lime
- kosher salt, to taste
- Place an oven rack a few inches below the broiler. Set the broiler to high.
- Place the tomatillos, cherry tomatoes, jalapenos, onion wedges, and garlic on a large roasting pan. Broil for 6-7 minutes, until tomatillos and onions start to blacken. Flip ingredients over and broil an additional 6-7 minutes, until everything is soft and charred. If your broiler heats unevenly, slide the pan from one side of the oven to the other halfway through cooking time for each side of the vegetables.
- Allow the vegetables to sit on the roasting pan until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes. Remove the seeds from the jalapenos (leave in for extra spicy salsa!). Place the vegetables into a food processor or blender, pouring in the accumulated juices on the sheet pan. Puree until small chunks remain. Add in the cilantro, lime juice, and a pinch of salt, and pulse to combine. Taste and add more salt if necessary.
The salsa verde will keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up a week. For longer storage, cool in the refrigerator and then transfer to the freezer for up to 6 months.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 48 Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 12Total Fat: 0.3gCarbohydrates: 2.4gProtein: 0.4g