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Salsa Verde—Green Table Sauce

Tomatillos (toe-mah-tee-yos), little green tomatoes hiding in a paper thin husk, are the essence of salsa verde. Blend the bright citrus-y flavored tomatillos with cilantro and serrano chiles to make this easy delicious salsa verde–green table sauce.

All green salsas have different ratios of chiles to tomatillos. Today’s recipe  is considered a raw salsa verde and is perfect for chip dipping.  You might like my other salsa verde, where the tomatillos, chiles and onions are charred first. Maybe you prefer salsa verde without cilantro, like this one that sauces these spinach patties. And then there’s my salsa verde, the one I use on my spinach enchiladas.

Salsa Verde—Green Table Sauce

All you need is a pot to boil the tomatillos and a blender to puree them into a batch of green table sauce. Whirr! This green tomatillo sauce is delicious over eggs and grilled veggies too–it’s not just for dipping!

tomatillos with husks for Salsa Verde—Green Table Sauce

Fresh cilantro for Salsa Verde—Green Table Sauce

serrano and jalapeño chiles for Salsa Verde—Green Table Sauce

I made this salsa in Baja Mexico so I’m including a few photos from our trip. Below is the beach in Loreto at sunrise.

Loreto sunset in Baja. Salsa Verde—Green Table Sauce

In Loreto we felt the sand in our toes for the last time. The highway, la carretera, heads up into the mountains from there, working its way across to the other side. Pretty much at the top is Cataviña, a gorgeous rock garden of a traveler’s wayside with not much more than a lovely hotel. This page describes Cataviña well.

The last section of the drive we see the Pacific, ocean views now on our left. On the last stretch to the Tecate border, the road passes through kilometers upon kilometers of grapevines. It’s said the Valle de Guadalupe wine country is Napa Valley 35 years ago. Buy your property now.

Salsa Verde—Green Table Sauce

Serve your salsa verde–green table sauce–with brilliant red hibiscus margaritas and you’ve got yourself a party!

Wishing you a fabulous week–get in the kitchen and cook something delicious!

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Salsa Verde—Green Table Sauce
Prep Time
15 mins
Total Time
15 mins
 

This easy green salsa is better than any you can buy in a jar. Serve with tortilla chips. It's absolutely delicious as a sauce on eggs, enchiladas, tacos, tempeh, grilled meats, and vegetables. Makes about 1 1/2 cups salsa.

Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Mexican, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 12 servings
Author: Letty Flatt | Letty's Kitchen12
Ingredients
  • 20 tomatillos (see note)
  • ½ cup water, or more, as needed
  • 2 to 3 serrano chiles (see note)
  • ¼ white onion, cut in ¼-inch dice (about ½ cup)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons (or more) cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
Instructions
  1. Remove the papery husks from the tomatillos. Rinse to take away the sticky residue—you will know what I mean when you feel it. Place the tomatillos in a saucepan and cover with water. Cook until the tomatillos are just soft, about 5 minutes.
  2. Alternatively, and more traditionally, char the tomatillos in a hot cast-iron skillet until they are soft. (Mexican cooks often roast the onion and garlic at the same time. The char brings smoky depth, but if you want to keep it simple, skip this additional step—your salsa will still be terrific.)
  3. Place the softened tomatillos and about ½ cup water in a blender jar.
  4. Cut the top off the serrano chiles and cut them in half lengthwise. Scrape the seeds away unless you like maximum picante heat. (Grapefruit spoons are the perfect utensils for holding chiles while you scrape.) Chop coarsely and add to blender. Add the onion, garlic, cilantro, and salt.
  5. Puree until the sauce is smooth. Taste and add more chile and/or salt if needed.
Recipe Notes
A friend grew tomatillos in her Heber garden last summer. I was a lucky recipient of her tomatillo abundance—and she got salsa verde in return. The smaller tomatillos in the photo I picked from a friend’s Baja garden. Hers were more ripe, more yellow than green, with a few purple ones in the mix. As is often true for garden-grown fruits and vegetables, homegrown tomatillos are superior to the store-boughts. This is salsa--you want there to be some picante heat. Don’t skimp on the chiles and add more if the chiles you find are mild. Serrano chiles with their bright fresh flavor and are first choice. You can substitute with jalapeño chiles, but your salsa will be remarkably different in flavor. Because tomatillos have a high pectin count, raw salsa verde jells and thickens. Thin with water if after a day or so the sauce is thicker than you want.

11 comments

  • Patricia Constable

    Welcome Home to a little snow for the last day of skiing the Canyons. Could get a free pass for you if you or You and Robbie are interested. Who knows what the spring conditioned will have become with this somewhat wintry day. Look forward to seeing you both soon. xoxo, PC & DC Reply · 13 April, 2014

  • I loved hearing about your drive home. Fun photos and a great recipe. Tomatillo’s are at our Santa Barbara farmers market now. Thanks again for the thoughtful gift! Reply · 13 April, 2014

    • Letty

      Thanks Maura,
      I just saw a jar of guacamole spices–Frontera brand, at the store. The ingredients are tomatillos and chiles–basically my salsa verde recipe.
      Yes! Oh She Glows! Reply · 14 April, 2014

  • Barbara Hill

    You can easily grow tomatillos in PC. They like cold & easily reseed. I will get you some starts when ready Reply · 13 April, 2014

    • Letty

      Oh I would love to grow tomatillos here in the high country and will–thanks for letting me know. Reply · 14 April, 2014

  • kym

    I am grateful for the time I got to spend with you in Baja and that you are safely home and maybe Letty’s Kitchen might be a little less distracted? Love you L & R, Kym Reply · 14 April, 2014

    • Letty

      Thanks Kym,
      Yes, I photographed 2 recipes yesterday and you will see them soon. Reply · 14 April, 2014

  • Not a bad way to travel indeed. Funny. But I have a roasted version of this salsa on my blog today. GREG Reply · 14 April, 2014

  • That looks simple and delicious! My kind of recipe. Thanks, Letty! Reply · 15 April, 2014

    • Letty

      Thanks Karen and Greg. Yes, use roasted tomatillos if you find the extra time, for even more flavor. See Sippity Sup’s recipe too. Reply · 16 April, 2014

  • […] would work? Not me. Between granola stirrings, I char-roasted poblano chiles, whipped up a batch of green salsa, and steeped hibiscus flowers for this Valentine cocktail. And blended more guajillo salad […] Reply · 22 February, 2015

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