It is that time of year – the field crops are being harvested, there is an unfortunate amount of smoke in the air from nearby forest fires (though I can’t complain about the smoke-intensified sunsets), and of course – so much amazing local food is available all around the Palouse-Clearwater region. Late summer is the time to get big boxes of tomatoes and peaches from the farmer’s market, and then sweat through the weekend in a steamy, fragrant kitchen (hopefully with family and/or friends), dreaming of the preserved goodies that will be enjoyed in the less bountiful months. This is the time of year when we take stock of what we enjoyed last year and what is available this year (so many pickling cukes!), and make our plan to re-create old favorites and try some delicious new things.
An old favorite that we started with this year, is Salsa Verde made from roasted tomatillos-
I’ve said it before and I know I’ll say it again – I like the weird vegetables, and tomatillos, with their delicate husk and sour, green flesh, I put in that category. Seasonal, and sometimes tricky to find, Shane likes them too – but I usually have to remind him of that every year when they come into season when he gives me a funny look regarding the weird veggies going into our bag. Then, when I make up this Salsa Verde with chicken, sometimes even in some yummy chicken enchiladas – he remembers pretty quickly that he likes the weird veggies too!
A close relation to the tomato, originating in Mexico, the tomatillo has Vitamin C, Vitamin A and several other anti-oxidant plant compounds known to contribute to cancer prevention. This Salsa Verde (green salsa) has been consistently my favorite way to make tomatillos, (if you’ve got some other favorite to try, please post your suggestions in the comments). Salsa verde is quick and easy, can be made with the tomatillos fresh or roasted and served with chips, chicken (our favorite is still coming from our membership with Link’d Hearts Ranch and their pasture-raisied poultry), pork (Omache farm is our local go-to for delicious pasture-raised pork) or whatever you can dream up to put it on (again, please share in the comments). Salsa verde can be served straight out of the blender for a late summer meal or snack, or canned-up in your favorite size jar – see references below for a link to proper canning of Tomatillo Salsa Verde.
As I said, my recipe is pretty simple
Remove the husks from the tomatillos
*if you want to, you can try substituting green tomatoes in for the tomatillos for a slightly different option)
Step 2: Mist the pan and tomatillos with oil and roast for about 1 hour (or you can skip this step for Salsa Verde Fresca)
Step 3: While the tomatillos are roasting, prepare about 1/4 c diced onion (from Deep Roots Farm) and 2 cloves garlic (Omache Farm CSA) for each 2 cups of tomatillo you can add sweet or spicy pepper here as well. I used sweet, orange peppers from Tonnemaker farms, where I also got the tomatillos. The peppers are more of a to-taste thing with about 1/2 chile to go with your 2 cups of tomatillo for a medium-spicy salsa. You can also roast the peppers, garlic and onion with the tomatillos for a different taste in your final salsa.
Step 4: Throw it all in the blender with your favorite amount of chopped cilantro (ours came from the great folks in the white bus at the Moscow Farmer’s Market, good on them too, cilantro is hard to grow this time of year!) – in our case, a lot! Then, add in 1/2 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp cumin (more if you love cumin), and 1 Tblsp lime juice
Step 5: Blend it up!
Step 6: Eat it up!
Enjoy your Salsa Verde in a wide array of Mexican-inspired dishes (if you do want to can this, please check out the reference link for important food-safety guidelines), and stay-tuned for our adventures in canning in our new tiny-kitchen!
Please share your favorite tomatillio eating, finding and growing stories in the comments –
Always with gratitude- especially to Shane McFarland for helping to clean up the messes I make!
Canning Salsa Verde –