I was doing some grocery shopping last week, and I stumbled upon a display of tomatillos. Now, I have never actually cooked with tomatillos before, but I really like their flavor. They make for a very refreshing, slightly acidic salsa, and that’s right up my alley. So, I decided that now was the time to take the plunge, and I scooped up some tomatillos, some jalapeños, a sweet onion, and a few other things, and headed home to make salsa!
(Edited to add: after my partner in crime snapped at me for not yet having a post up, she then complained that I did not provide enough information as to what a tomatillo is – as though you fine people don’t have Google at your fingertips. She is cranky today, so I am trying not to anger her further. So! A tomatillo is actually a relative of the gooseberry, and not related in any way to a tomato. It grows in an inedible husk; to prepare them for use, you remove the husk, and rinse them well to remove the sticky residue that is on the outside of the fruit. They have a very bright, tart flavor to them – similar to that of a green tomato, but are more flavorful, and with a softer texture to their flesh.)
Fire-Roasted Tomatillo Salsa
makes kind of a lot (you’re welcome, for the very precise measurement)
1lb fresh tomatillos, husks removed and rinsed well
1 large, sweet onion, cut into large chunks
1 large poblano pepper (or two smaller ones)
4 cloves of garlic, UNpeeled
2 tsp kosher salt
1.) Preheat the broiler in your oven, and adjust the racks so one sits about 6 inches below the broiler flame.
2.) Arrange your vegetables on either a slotted broiler pan, or a rimmed baking sheet with a wire rack on it.
3.) Place the pan in the oven, and broil the vegetables for about 3 minutes, until they’re getting dark brown spots all over. Remove the pan from the oven, flip all the vegetables, and broil for another 3-4 minutes, until the second side has dark brown spots, too.
4.) Remove the vegetables from the oven, and immediately place the poblanos in a large bowl, and cover it tightly with plastic wrap. After about 10 minutes, you can remove the poblano peppers from the bowl, and you should be able to easily remove and discard the skins.
5.) Let the rest of the vegetables cool until you can handle them easily. When they are cooled, cut the tops off the jalapeños and poblanos, and remove the ribs and seeds.
6.) Cut the tomatillos in half, and peel the garlic cloves. Throw everything into a blender, and process until the salsa has reached the consistency you want.
You can use this salsa for anything – you could add it to a layered taco dip, put it on tacos, pour it over enchiladas, or just eat it straight up with some tortilla chips. It’s got a nice, subtle smoky flavor, but the tomatillos still taste fresh and bright. This recipe makes A TON, so it would be great to make for a party.
You know that tomatillos are NOT just green tomatoes, right?