Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

I classify this as a winter dish because it is roasted in the oven, and who wants to turn the oven on during the summer? (The answer is: NOT ME.) This recipe uses tomatillos, which are those little green tomato-like things wearing a leaf-ish husk that are sold near the peppers at the grocery store. When you buy tomatillos you want to find firm ones that are bright green with no dark spots and no mold or mildew on the husks. Remove the husks before using, and wash them with water to remove a thin, sticky residue that they have on their skins. Tomatillos have a slightly sour or bitter flavor and taste great roasted like this recipe requires. I don't notice a big difference in flavor whether I buy them in the winter or fresh from the farmers market, so tomatillo salsa is a great mid-winter salsa to make when all fresh tomatoes look pale pink and taste like mushy cardboard. It isn't a very hot salsa, so if you prefer things on the spicier side you might want to add a couple more hot peppers. Oh, and I did I mention that there's hardly any chopping?

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa


1 pound tomatillos (about 6 large), papery husks removed, rinsed
1/2 large onion, cut into thirds
2 serrano chiles, halved, seeded
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (loosely packed) fresh cilantro leaves


Preheat oven to 375°F. Toss first 5 ingredients in 8x8x2-inch glass baking dish. Roast in oven until tomatillos and onion are very soft, about 1 hour. Transfer contents of baking dish to processor and add cilantro. Puree until almost smooth. Transfer salsa to bowl. Season to taste with more salt, if needed. Chill or serve at room temperature. 

Recipe Source: Bon Appetit, April 2008

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