Tangy and tart tomatillo salsa verde sauce, that lovely green sauce that usually tops chicken enchiladas; but there is so much more you can do with it. See the list towards the end of the post for ideas, and make a batch while summer tomatillos are still available. Tomatillo Salsa Verde freezes easily for enjoying year round.
Tomatillo Salsa Verde Sauce
I’m getting ready to overhaul my chicken enchilada recipe with some new tortillas that I’ve found that are grain-free. The first step is to make a batch of easy tomatillo salsa verde sauce. It takes little time. First, pull the paper husks off the tomatillos and discard. Next wash the sticky tomatillos. Then roughly chop them, add a few more ingredients and simmer it all in a pan until its broken down and juicy. Puree last, cool and refrigerate or freeze. That’s it. While you can buy it at the store, homemade is always better.
If you’ve never worked with fresh Tomatillos, they look like little green tomatoes with a papery outer wrap. Even thought their name means little tomato in Spanish, tomatillos are not tomatoes. They are a member of the nightshade family, along with tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, potatoes, in case you have nightshade sensitivities.
Tomatillos have a tart, citrusy flavor and are generally available year round. They can even be frozen whole without the paper husk. Wash tomatillos before using as they have sticky outer coating when fresh. While they look seedy when cut open, don’t seed them; chop them just as they are.
Buy tomatillos (which are technically a fruit) that have a bright green color and smooth surface. Peak into the paper husk if need be to choose good ones. This salsa is cooked, but you can also eat them raw. Usually tomatillos are green but can be found in colors of yellow, red and purple. For more information and nutrition try this article.
Working With Hot Peppers
If you like heat, use the whole thing. If you are heat sensitive, slice it in half lengthwise and remove the white membrane and seeds. The membrane is where most of the heat is, not the seeds. And you might consider wearing disposable kitchen gloves when working with peppers. If you don’t, do not touch your eyes after working with them, even after washing your hands!
Uses for Tomatillo Salsa Verde Sauce
While this is the sauce delicious for topping chicken enchiladas, there are many other uses. Try tomatillo salsa verde with:
- Grilled or baked white fish like cod or halibut, salmon or shrimp
- Use it straight as a dip for raw veggies
- For a creamier dip (if you do dairy), try mixing it with sour cream or non-dairy Vegenaise
- Add a spoonful to top a bowl of chili
- Use it with Huevos Rancheros instead of the more traditional red enchilada sauce
- Pour it over or poached or scrambled eggs for a lift of flavor
- Use it with any kind of tacos for moisture and flavor
- Chips and salsa anyone? My great weakness…or baked nachos with Jack cheese
Tomatillo Salsa Verde Sauce
- 2 1/2 pounds tomatillos
- 1 small mild green chili such as Ahaheim, optional
- 1 small onion
- 2 large glaric cloves smashed and chopped
- 1 cup water
- 1 jalapeno pepper see note at end
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- Remove paper husks from the tomatillos, wash them and chop into big pieces. Chop the onion, green chie if using, and jalapeno. Add them to a medium (4-5 quart) saucepan with the garlic, water, cumin, oregano, coriander, and salt. Bring to a boil then turn down to low. Cover and simmer with a lid on for approximately 20 minutes. If using right away, pour into a blender and with a tightly fixed lid, pulse to blend and puree. See notes below for blending hot liquid. Use as is or cool and refrigerate or freeze. Salsa will last 5 days in the refrigerator or several months in the freezer.