Tomatillo Salsa Verde and How to Preserve Them Right Now

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I really love a tomatillo–or, let’s be real, a whole pile of them.

I didn’t see an actual tomatillo until sometime in my twenties, when I started traveling to explore food markets. Tomatillos just weren’t a thing in my childhood home. Back then, our choice enchilada sauce was red in color and came in a jar because no one was making sauces from scratch. (I didn’t even know that green enchilada sauce was a thing.)

Perhaps as backlash to all that red sauce, I’m in love with green enchilada sauce today and, thus, tomatillos. I use them in so many dishes including my Pumpkin Enchiladas–and I freeze loads of the sauce for easy comfort food in a snap. I’m also so down for Tomatillo Salsa Verde. In fact, I freeze tomatillos all late summer and into early autumn so I can make my salsa verde at anytime.

Tomatillo Salsa Verde is a raw sauce that can be eaten with tortilla chips or stirred into beans and soups. I also spoon it onto bowls of grains and vegetables and stir it into yogurt and serve it with scrambled eggs and tortillas. It’s versatile and fresh and only as spicy as you make it.

Before we jump to the recipe, we’ve got to talk about preserving tomatillos. Unlike other similarly textured fruits, like tomatoes, my favorite tiny green orbs freeze amazingly well. People don’t believe me but seriously. Yes, seriously.

After you peel the husk off and rinse the tomatillos very well, slice each fruit in half and place them in a single layer on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Slide them into the freezer and freeze until solid. Then transfer them to freezer bags and freeze for up to a year in the freezer. I prefer to store them in one-pound portions to make this stunningly-simple salsa verde year round. It’s an easy appetizer that always surprises (and delights) guests.

Before you make the salsa, you do need to thaw the tomatillos overnight. I place them in a strainer over a bowl and let them thaw gradually in the fridge. Add the thawed tomatillos to the blender and toss the liquid that gathers in the bowl.

My freezer is filled with about 15 pounds of tomatillos to take me through the winter. Yes, that’s how much I love tomatillos. If you see some during these final weeks of farmers markets or in your local grocery, pick up a couple pounds pronto.

Tomatillo Salsa Verde

Makes: 2 cups

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Total Time: 10 Minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound (454 g) fresh tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and halved
  • 1⁄2 medium white onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled
  • 1⁄2 jalapeño, roughly chopped
  • 1 small bunch cilantro (about 10 sprigs), stems cut and discarded
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (from about 1⁄2 medium lemon)
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons sea salt, plus more to taste

Directions:

  1. Put the tomatillos, onion, garlic, jalapeño, cilantro, oil, lemon juice, and salt in a powerful blender and blend, adding 1 or 2 tablespoons of water, if needed, to reach a smooth (but not entirely pureed) consistency. Taste and add more lemon juice or salt, as needed. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Eat Boutique is an award-winning shop and story-driven recipe site created by Maggie Battista–shop girl, writer, author, and creative business coach. After hosting pop-up markets for 25,000+ guests, Maggie is working to open her first permanent Eat Boutique–a food-retail concept space with a new way to the very best food–as well as coaching women in food to reach life and business goals. Her second cookbook, A New Way to Food: 100 Recipes to Encourage a Healthy Relationship with Food, Nourish Your Beautiful Body, and Celebrate Real Wellness for Life, will be published by Roost Books on February 5, 2019. 

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