Tomatillo Salsa: Sunshine In Your Freezer
Amy Cotler, the author of The Locavore Way: Discover and Enjoy the Pleasures of Locally Grown Food, which will be published next month, shares another one of her of-the-moment recipes:
Now that the edges of the trees are tinged with color, I feel the push to put things up for the chilly season when they’ll deliver the taste of the sun into my breezy old house. This time it’s a traditional tomatillo salsa. I purchased my tomatillos from the redoubtable Laura Meister of Farm Girl Farm. Sometimes called a Mexican green tomato, they are round, green with a papery lantern-shaped husk. Their unique flavor has a slightly herbal lemony kick. I like to serve the salsa with grilled meat or fish and as a citrusy foil for a cheesy quesadilla. Sometimes, I simmer it in a skillet to welcome cracked eggs on a winter morning. And nothing better is a bowl of chips and salsa while watching an old Bette Davis movie. This recipe makes about 6 cups, although it can easily be scaled down. The salsa can be frozen or canned, although I prefer the former. Just ladle it into ice cube trays, then crack the frozen cubes into a container for later use. That way you can use as little or much as you like.—A.C.
1/4 cup olive oil
8 garlic cloves, peeled
2 thick slices of a large sweet onion
5 lb fresh tomatillos, husked and rinsed
5 serrano chili peppers, stemmed and seeded, or 2 jalapeños, stemmed and not seeded (no need to chop; the food processor will do that.)
Salt, preferably kosher
1 cup water
2 teaspoons sugar, optional
1 small bunch cilantro
1/4 cup lime juice, or to taste, optional
1. Add the oil to a 4 quart pot.
2. Add the garlic, onion and some of the tomatillos to a food processor. Blend until smooth. Pour on top of the oil, then blend the rest of the tomatillos and the serrenos or jalapeños, in batches if needed, until smooth. (If you’re scared of making this too hot, you can blend some of the chilies then add the rest if you want the extra kick.)
3. Add the blended ingredients to the pot, along with 1 tablespoon salt and 1 cup water. Simmer for 10 minutes to blend the flavors and thicken slightly. Taste and season with extra salt and the sugar, needed.
4. Chop the cilantro in the flood processor and stir into the salsa. (You can use most of the stems.)
5. Add lime, if you wish. (If you are freezing, add lime later, or as an accompaniment in wedges)