Adam and I commute to work each day, fortunately we do not have to do it alone since we actually work at the same place. Our commute lasts about 45 minutes and sometimes gets a bit mundane. So, we will occasionally stop by Rosa Mexicano on the way home, grab a seat on their deck and relax with some guacamole, salsa and chips. I love the guacamole, but my favorite thing there is the salsa verde, it is spicy, but not too much and is packed with flavor. Every time we go, I tell Adam how much I want to make it at home and finally, I took the mission to heart and came up with this salsa verde recipe. Not knowing too much about salsas, I did a little research and found some recipes that look fantastic (see below).
I learned that salsa verde uses tomatillos, which look like green tomatoes with husks (a little funny looking if you ask me). Some recipes boiled the tomatillos and others roasted them, I decided to roast since I find roasting develops more flavor. Other commonalities between the recipes I viewed were the use of peppers, especially serrano and jalapeno, lime juice and cilantro. Armed with my research, I made an attempt at salsa verde. I mentioned before that I decided to roast the tomatillos, but in addition I chose to roast a serrano and jalapeno pepper and some garlic cloves.
To roast, I turned by broiler to high, then placed my tomatillos, peppers and unpeeled garlic under the hot broiler until the peppers are slightly charred on the outside and perfectly steamed on the inside, the garlic become soft and sweet and the tomatillos become soft and slightly charred on the outside. After roasting, I removed any charred skin from the peppers and the tomatillos and peeled the garlic, while the baking pan was still hot, I poured in some chicken stock to deglaze, this picks up all the flavor from the roasting. I added everything including some of the now flavored chicken stock to a food processor with some raw white onion, cilantro, lime juice and salt. The final result was fantastic, so much so that I think it rivals the one from Rosa Mexicano. Roasting the tomatillos and peppers gives the salsa so much flavor and depth, the sweet roasted garlic cuts through the spicyness of the peppers and the raw onion, lime juice and cilantro brightens everything leaving your palate light and refreshed.
- 1 lb. tomatillos (4-5 tomatillos)
- 1 jalapeno pepper
- 1 serrano pepper
- 2 unpeeled garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 4 tbsp. diced white onion
- 1/3 cup cilantro
- 1 tbsp. lime juice
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- Move an oven rack to the top position for broiling. Preheat broiler to high.
- Remove husks and wash tomatillos.
- Place tomatillos, peppers and unpeeled garlic cloves into an oven-safe baking dish with sides. Place into the oven, 4 inches from the preheated broiler, until the tomatillos are roasted and the peppers are slightly charred on all sides, about 10-15 minutes. Rotate tomatillos, peppers and garlic during roasting to ensure all sides are slightly charred.
- Remove the baking dish and add chicken stock to de-glaze the pan. If tomatillos, peppers and garlic are stuck to the bottom of the dish, use a wooden spoon to scrap the baking dish.
- Once cool to the touch, peel the garlic and discard the skins (you may have to squeeze the soft garlic out of the skin).
- For a spicier salsa, leave in all seeds from peppers, for a medium salsa, remove half of the seeds and for a mild salsa remove all seeds from peppers.
- Add the tomatillos, garlic and peppers to a food processor as well as the onions, cilantro, lime juice and salt.
- Add about 1/2 of the chicken stock from the baking dish and pulse the food processor 3-4 times or until the salsa has come together. You can add more chicken stock based on your own preferences for consistency.
- Serve salsa warm, at room temperature or cold.