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Salsa Verde with home-grown BC chili peppers

November 21, 2012


I've been in love with Salsa Verde ever since the first time I spooned it onto a burrito when my local taco shop ran out of tomato salsa. It's got a tangy zing that red salsa doesn't have, which soothes the edge of the spicy heat.

I grew a Super Chili pepper plant on my deck this year specifically with plans to experiment with chili sauces this fall. With the final harvest picked from my backyard garden last week, I found myself with a glut of both green Super Chilies and under-ripened green tomatoes. Looking at the side-by-side bowls on my counter, I suddenly thought "Well, this is the beginning of a salsa verde..." I went to the store to pick up some tomatillos to round out my ingredients list and got to work.



Tomatillos are a fascinating fruit, growing inside a papery husk that you strip off before cooking. They have small seeds and a great tang that lends well to both the fresh and cooked Mexican 'green sauces' that are so popular down south.


Because I wanted to use up my remaining unripened green tomatoes in this recipe, I went with 50% tomatillos and 50% green tomatoes. My second batch was made entirely from tomatillos and I actually prefer the flavour of the tomatillio/green tomato combination better, but either way will work just fine. You can also experiment with roasting the tomatillos and chilies before cooking down the sauce, which adds a smokey flavour to the salsa but darkens the colour.

A note about chopping chilies: use gloves and care when chopping, chili oil can get under your fingernails and cause major pain next time you touch your eye. It's worth the extra caution.


Salsa Verde

3 cups tomatillos, roughly chopped
3 cups  green tomatoes
, roughly chopped
10 green super chilies or 2-3 jalapenos (leave seeds in if you like the heat, or de-seed for a milder salsa)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 of one white onion, finely diced
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, finely diced
Juice of 1/2 a lime
1 teaspoon salt

Roughly chop the tomatillos and green tomatoes, leaving skins on, and place in a sauce pan with 1 inch of water.
Remove chili stems and slice length-wise in two. Remove seeds and ribbing if a milder salsa is desired.
Simmer on medium-low heat for 20 minutes, until tomatoes and tomatillos are softened and cooked down, then remove from heat.

Puree using a hand-blender or food processor until smooth.

Add the fresh minced garlic, fine diced onion, cilantro, lime juice and salt. Stir until blended, then check seasoning level and adjust salt and lime as needed.

Keep refrigerated, freeze or can it in jars.

Salsa Verde is great with tortilla chips or on a taco, and pairs really well with chicken. Enjoy!

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