Salsa verde and I are new BFFs. It got really serious really fast.
A few fridays ago, I found myself sipping mango margaritas with a friend at a local Mexican restaurant. Along with the usual classic red salsa and chips came a little bowl full of its delicious green spicy cousin known as salsa verde (or maybe first cousin once removed? step cousin? fraternal twin?).
Somehow I’ve managed to survive 25 years without trying salsa verde. Or if I did try it, I certainly don’t remember it. I blame my mothers anti-cilantro campaign, my years of misguided picky eating, and my habit of ordering variations of the same few dishes at restaurants. I would normally also blame gymnast Paul Hamm’s 2008 shoulder injury that caused him to dropout of the summer olympics thereby almost ruining the Beijing games for me and my olympic-games-loving friend, ultimately rendering us unable to eat salsa (especially salsa verde) for quite some time… but I’m trying to get over that.
After just one taste of the brightly-colored salsa, I was overcome by the fresh, tangy, lime-y, cilantro-esque, spicy, green goodness. It was love at first bite and I’ve been thinking about the stuff ever since.
This morning it was finally time to stop thinking about it and get around to actually making it. The salsa was fantastic, unlike Paul’s poor shoulder…
5-6 medium tomatillos, peeled, rinsed and cut in half
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1-2 jalapeños, cut and seeded
1/3C chopped cilantro
1/2 small white onion, chopped
juice of 1/2 lime
Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add tomatillos cut-side down into heated pan. Cook for 4-5 minutes, until softened and browned. Turn over. Add the whole cloves of garlic into the pan. Cook for additional 3-5 minutes. The tomatillos should be very soft. Allow garlic-tomatillo mixture to cool slightly.
In a food processor, pulse tomatillo-garlic mixture. Add jalapeño, onion, cilantro, lime, and a dash of salt. Pulse until combined. Taste and adjust seasonings. Eat. Store leftovers in air-tight container in the refrigerator.
I enjoyed this salsa with black bean & cheese quesadillas… then some black corn tortilla chips… then by the spoonful… then I just started drinking it…