Big fan of dips and sauces over here!! It's hard not to love the way a simple sauce can bring a dish to life. The way an herby fresh chimichurri can liven up steak tacos or grilled bread. Or how this Tangy Chipotle Honey Vinaigrette can make a boring salad explode with flavor! But one of my all time favorites in the 'dips-n-sauces' category is any and all kinds of salsa.
You've probably tasted your fair share of classic, red tomato salsa. But if you're anything like me (meaning you have a slight salsa obsession), you know that there are so many other delicious varieties to experiment with. This salsa stars the little green cousin of the tomato, the tomatillo.
While Tomatillos are not classified as a tomato, you can think of them as distant relatives. Smaller in size and slightly tart in flavor, the tomatillo is a Mexican, husk covered fruit with a somewhat sticky skin. They can be eaten raw, but to get the most intense flavor, we're going to broil them in the oven!
This recipe uses 8 tomatillos, which came out to 1.5 pounds. This will give you about 3 cups of salsa, perfect for snacking on a couple times at home, but you can easily double the recipe if you're feeding a crowd.
The first thing you'll want to do is remove the husks and really wash those tomatillos. Next, set your broiler to 400°F. If you can't adjust your broiler to a specific temperature, you can just set it to medium/low.
On a rimmed baking sheet, coat the tomatillos & jalapeños with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Broil on the top rack, for 15 minutes, flip and continue broiling for another 10 minutes. As they roast, the flavors with magically mellow & intensify all at the same time! These guys will be HOT right out of the oven, so set your pan aside to cool down.
In a food processor or blender (this is the one we use!), add in half a red onion (cut into about 3 chunks), 3 whole cloves of fresh, peeled garlic, a big handful of cilantro (about one loosely packed cup), the zest from half of a lime and the juice from the whole lime, 1/2 tsp. each of salt, pepper & cumin and 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper. Careful not to over season here. You can add more to taste at the end.
Once the jalapeños have cooled down enough to handle, remove the charred skin, stems & seeds and add the peppers to the food processor. If you like extra spicy salsa, you can leave some or all of the seeds.
Throw the whole tomatillo into the food processor. You can take off any overly charred skin from the tomatillos, but peeling isn't necessary and the skins are going to add some of that roasted flavor to the salsa.
Pulse the ingredients together to the consistency that you like. This version is on the smoother size, but still has some body to it. Perfect for scooping up on a chip or topping off a taco! Until next time, be sure to keep your leftovers in the fridge!
Thanks for Chewsing!