Sunday, October 9, 2011

Salsa Verde

I was recently introduced to tomatillos for the first time at our local CSA food share.  These are not something we see in our local small town grocery store.    Tomatillos are small fruits (used as a vegetable) enclosed in a papery husk. The fruit resembles a small unripe tomato and is usually green or yellow. The yellow color indicates ripeness, but tomatillos are most often used when they are still green. Green tomatillos are firmer and easier to slice. The husk that holds the fruit is paper-like and is light brown. The flesh is slightly acidic with a hint of lemon. Tomatillos belong to the same family as tomatoes.  The Aztecs first grew tomatillos as far back as 800 B.C. and they have been popular in Mexico and other Latin American countries for many years.

Although mostly the tomatillo is used cooked it can be eaten raw. It's commonly used in salsas as well as stews and sauces for meats. It is also made into jams and marmalades.   Tomatillos have a very tart flavor, not at all like a tomato. 

Even though tomatillos are sometimes called "green tomatoes", they should not be confused with green, unripe tomatoes.  The freshness and greenness of the husk are quality criteria.  They are a staple in Mexican cuisine and cooked Latin American green sauces.  

Salsa Verde

cut up tomatillos / onion / garlic /
red pepper / jalapeno pepper - read for oven

1/2 lbs tomatillos, husked
1/4 small sweet onion
1/2 jalapeno, seeded for less heat
1/2 red pepper
1/2 clove of garlic
fresh cilantro to taste
olive oil

Preheat oven to 450F degrees.  Place above tomatilos, onion, jalapeno, red pepper, garlic on backing dish and drizzle with olive oil and salt.  Roast for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from oven and let cool.  Place roasted vegetables in food proccessor and process in small batches until smooth.   Enjoy !

Salsa Verde

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