Suzi's Blog

Tomatillo Temptations Part 3

I have offered two versions of tomatillo salsa recently. Here is the third and easily the best. The reasons to love this salsa are many. Flavor, of course. The aroma of fresh cilantro. The vibrant green color. This is awesome salsa. Unlike the two earlier ones, this one uses canned, not fresh, tomatillos. It take five minutes to make and will brighten your chips, salads, or burritos. The flavor is unique.

Originally, I made this recipe with fresh jalapenos. I prefer using candied jalapenos now, and you can check my earlier blog for the quick way to make them:

Canned Tomatillo Salsa

Yield: 2-3 cups


4-5 whole canned tomatillos [a full medium can or half of a large can]
2 tablespoons of the juice from the canned tomatillos
1 medium red onion, diced
¼ cup candied jalapenos
1 garlic clove, smashed
2 tablespoons red raspberry vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup cilantro leaves


Place the ingredients in the order listed into a blender. Blend until the cilantro leaves have been totally processed and the salsa has transformed to a deep green. Taste test. You may want an additional splash of vinegar or a dash of salt.

Place in covered container and refrigerate. Stir before using.

Source: Brian O’Rourke

Tomatillo Temptations Part 2

Recently I blogged about tomatillo salsa, that vibrant, green salsa that you may have sampled with chips or had adorned on top of a main course. Tomatillo salsa offers that great versatility. You can find my earlier blog at:

Tomatillo salsa can be made with raw tomatillos, cooked ones and canned. Last week, Part 1 offered a raw salsa from Rick Bayless. Today, in Part 2, there is a cooked tomatillo salsa again from Rick Bayless. This is the perfect opportunity to contrast two recipes: same author, nearly the same ingredients, and just one shift in the preparation technique. The modest differences in ingredients are the addition of a small amount of onion, increased garlic and decreased cilantro.

The real shift, of course, is that in this recipe the tomatillos and garlic are pan roasted before being added to the blender with the chiles and cilantro. The onion below is not blended but added only after the salsa has been created.

How about the results? What do you get for roasting the tomatillos? There are important differences in the two salsas. This cooked version has a darker color, is more viscous, and offers you a more complex flavor. I personally like the raw tomatillo salsa for its simple tangy flavor which is the perfect match for chips and margaritas. The cooked salsa has multiple flavor levels that, like a complex wine, reveal themselves over time. This cooked salsa is the one for your main courses: chicken, beef, and shrimp.

Like the raw version, this cooked salsa can be refrigerated and enjoyed for several days.

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

Yield: 1 ½ cups


4 medium tomatillos, husked, rinsed and halved
2 large garlic cloves
⅓ cup cilantro, loosely packed, roughly chopped
½ small white onion, finely chopped


Set a large (10-inch) nonstick skillet over medium-high heat (if you don’t have a nonstick skillet, lay in a piece of foil). Lay in the garlic and tomatillos, cut side down. When the tomatillos are well browned, 3 or 4 minutes, turn everything over and brown the other side. The tomatillos should be completely soft. [Brian note: using tongs you will know immediately when the raw, hard tomatillos have truly softened.]

Scrape the tomatillos and garlic into a blender or food processor and let cool to room temperature, about 3 minutes. Add the chiles, cilantro and ¼ cup of water.  Blend to a coarse puree. Pour into a salsa dish and thin with a little additional water if necessary to give the salsa an easily spoonable consistency.

Scoop the chopped onion into a strainer and rinse under cold water. Stir into the salsa. Taste and season with salt, usual about ½ teaspoon.

Source: Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless