Summer has arrived, in spite of the cool, wet spring – and I have been spending so much time in the kitchen lately. I’ve almost constantly had little projects here and there going, which honestly has kept me from the computer quite a bit (as my email inbox would attest to – sorry everyone, I’ll respond as quickly as I can!) What have I been working on? Well, I’ve been caaaaaaaaaanning. Jumping off from my pickling binge, I have been busily making fruit butters and putting them up for holiday gifts, hostess gifts, etc… What kind you ask? Well, it started off with a handful of less-than-perfect apricots from a FFTY delivery and three pints of Apricot butter, and recently ballooned in to 2 five-gallon buckets of wild plums being turned in to twenty-four pints of Plum Butter, 9 pints of Plum Ketchup, 10 pints of Plum Chutney, and 5 qts Plums in light syrup.
Yeah, I probably have a problem. But anyways, after the plum-dust settled, I started work on a blog post – a lovely Heirloom tomato & Squash soup inspired by the slow cooking & reducing of the fruit butters I’d been making… I’d been cooking it all day, and when it was finally done – it was considerably later than I’d intended it to be. Rather than making the family wait for dinner while I took pictures, I decided to take pictures with the leftovers in the morning, Saturday. However, by the time I got back from the Farmers Market on Saturday afternoon – I discovered that Mr. Man had eaten my soup for breakfast – thus leaving me with no blog post. Fortunately, when I went to the Sunday market, inspiration struck in the form of the cutest little tomatillos.
Tomatillos are a staple of Mexican cuisine. They’re a small green fruit that is covered with a papery husk. Once the husk is removed and discarded, they look remarkably similar to green tomatoes. Of course, when I think of Tomatillos I immediately think of Salsa Verde. Salsa Verde is Mr. Man’s favorite type of Salsa. Whenever we go out for Mexican Take out, he always makes a bee-line for the Salsa Verde, dipping chips in it, pouring it on burritos or tacos, etc… For all that though, this is actually the first time I’ve made Salsa Verde, although it definitely won’t be the last, being one of the simplest and easiest salsas I’ve ever made.
I used a combination of peppers, a pepper called ‘Padron’, that I found at the farmers market on Saturday, and some Jalapeno Peppers. This was my first time coming across Padrons, so you can use only Jalapenos if you prefer, or if you like your salsa a little milder, you can use Poblanos or Anaheims. The onion I used was called a torpedo onion. I had picked it up at the Berkeley Farmers market a while back, and since I only had a few, I’d been saving them for something I thought they would shine in. They’re a little milder and a little sweeter than a yellow onion, which is what I’d call my ‘stand-by’ onion. Unfortunately, they’re not terribly common – if you can’t find them substitute whatever onions you have on hand, I’m sure it will be fine. At some point here soon, I need to make up a batch or two of Onion Jam and Pickled Onions, I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. (I did mention that I have a canning problem, didn’t I?)
A quick broil on the tomatillos and peppers, and you’re nearly done. To be honest, the thing that took the most amount of time when prepping this salsa – was husking the Tomatillos. After that was done, it took maybe ten minutes to get it all together. Super fast, and super easy – just throw all the ingredients in to the blender and bzzz-bzzz.
Before you embark on making this salsa though, a couple of quick thoughts… Salsa is a very personal sort of thing. Some people like more cilantro, some people like less. Some people like it spicy, some people don’t. Etc… This is one of those recipes that you can pretty much consider all ingredients to be ‘To Taste’. There really isn’t a wrong way to make salsa.
- 2 lbs Tomatillos; husked and washed
- 1 small onion
- 2-4 cloves Garlic
- 1/4 cup Cilantro
- 2-4 Combination of Padron or Jalapeno Peppers (or other peppers of your choice); to taste & desired heat level
- Kosher Salt
- Place washed and husked Tomatillos on a baking sheet, along with your choice of peppers
- Broil for 1-2 minutes, or until skins are beginning to brown & blister (cooking time may depend on size of tomatillos, for larger tomatillos, recommend roasting at a lower temperature)
- Turn Tomatillos and Peppers and return to broiler until beginning to brown
- Take peppers and place in bowl. Cover with plastic wrap to allow steam to soften the skin and make it easier to remove
- Peel the peppers and remove stems. Set aside.
- Place all ingredients except peppers and salt in to the blender, and puree until smooth.
- Pour all of the puree in to a bowl, except for approximately 1/2 a cup
- Add peppers to blender with reserved 1/2 cup of salsa, and puree until smooth
- Add the pepper mixture and kosher salt to the salsa, a little at a time, to taste & desired spiciness level
- Refrigerate for 1-2 hours to allow flavors to meld