This past week, we received some odd-looking produce in our CSA box: they looked like small green tomatoes, tightly wrapped in thin, papery leaves. I recognized them as tomatillos, thanks to my frequent viewing of the cooking competition show Chopped, which has featured them as a mystery ingredient. However, I couldn't remember what the contestants actually made with them, so luckily our CSA farmer had thoughtfully included a recipe for roasted tomatillo salsa.
The recipe was rather vague, but I improvised, and it was one of those blissful (and for me, rare) cooking experiments in which everything comes out perfectly--the salsa had a bright freshness to it, with a nice spicy kick (if you prefer a medium or mild salsa, cut back on the jalapeno peppers). My salsa ended up being quite a bit sweeter than the fresh tomato salsa that I make; I'm not sure if that's thanks the tomatillos, the roasting process, or a combination thereof. We used the salsa on black bean tacos, but you could also serve it on rice or with tortilla chips.
Yield: about 1 1/2 cups salsa
- 6 tomatillos, husks removed and halved
- 2 jalapeno peppers, tops removed, halved, and seeded
- 1 head of garlic, peeled and separated into cloves
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves
- salt and pepper
Place tomatillos, peppers, and garlic on a foil-lined baking sheet.
Place in oven and broil until garlic is golden and tomatillos and peppers are charred on the top, about 10 minutes.
Remove garlic from baking sheet to cool. Turn over the tomatillos and peppers and broil until the other side is charred, another 10 minutes.
Remove tomatillos and peppers from baking sheet and allow to cool. Place the tomatillos, peppers, garlic, and cilantro in a food processor and process until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste, and keep salsa refrigerated until serving.