Thursday, September 8, 2011

Tomatillo Salsa, a.k.a. Scrumptious Green Sauce

When it comes to vegetables, Alice Waters is my goddess.  Her culinary point of view, that cooking should be focused on the finest and freshest local ingredients, is what I strive for and her refined yet approachable take has been inspiring cooks for decades.

While I am offering you nothing unique by professing my love, her Chez Panisse Vegetables is the perfect encyclopedia of vegetable recipes if you are in the market for one.  I read it cover-to-cover as bedside reading.

When these funky little corn husked green tomatillo fruits arrived I knew she'd have the perfect preparation.  I, unsurprisingly, obsessed over her version.  Home made tacos with tomatillo salsa verde: check.  Broiled fluke with the same green deliciousness: check.  Grilled chicken and rice topped with this sauce: check.  A second batch frozen in two separate baggies for enjoyment this winter: double check.  You get the picture!  Make it, enjoy it on just about anything, and see for yourself why Alice is a goddess.

Tomatillo Salsa Verde
Courtesy of Alice Waters, The Art of Simple Foods 

  • 1 pound tomatillos (about 12) 
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and sliced
  • 1 cup washed and chopped cilantro
  • 2 garlic cloves sliced (I doubled the originally here)
  • Salt
  • Peel and rinse the tomatillos. Add them to a sauce pan, cover just with water, add salt and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer.  Simmer for four to five minutes then drain, reserving 1 cup of cooking water.  The tomatillos will have lost their brightness. 

  • Blend the tomatillos with the cilantro, jalapenos, garlic, and 1/2 cup of the cooking water
  • Check the consistency, and if you want a "saucier" finish, add more cooking water
  • Enjoy!
About the Tomatillo
Known to many as the green tomato, ripe tomatillos are bright green and firm.  Found in Mexico as far back as pre-Columbian times, the fruit is now a large domesticated Mexican export with with 80% of the yield sent to the USA.


  1. Just letting you know that this too was a hit with my family last night over chicken (and again at lunch today!) - yummy!

  2. Barb, this makes me so happy! Thank you for sharing. Up next... homemade mexican sopas with this as sauce!


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