I love Mexican food, but as a semi-devout Paleo gal with various food allergies, I don’t eat it often (no rice, no beans, no tortillas for me). But my CSA box this week contained a bunch of obvious salsa ingredients, so I made a delicious Salsa Verde. “Verde” is Spanish for “green,” and that’s pretty much the defining characteristic of tomatillo-based salsa. That and the fiery, lava-like heat. Mmm, lava…
This recipe makes about 1 1/2 cups of salsa, enough for putting on an hors d’oevure table, but maybe not enough for an afternoon of watching the game (or an afternoon of standing in the fridge scooping delicious salsa into your face). Double or triple as necessary (mmm…).
1/2 lb tomatillos, husked and quartered
1/4 cup diced onion
1/2 (or to taste) small Serrano or other hot pepper, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro, or 1 tsp dried
1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano, or 1/2 tsp dried
1/4 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp salt
1 scant cup water
Place all the ingredients in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until the tomatillos are soft, about 10 – 15 minutes. Pour the salsa into a blender/food processor (I use an immersion blender) and process until somewhere between chunky and smooth, depending on your personal preference. Adjust seasonings to taste. Let salsa sit in the fridge for at least an hour to let the flavors meld and bloom. Garnish with a few sprigs of cilantro before serving.
A touch of liquid smoke or a splash of lime juice would be worth trying out, too.
Note: When handling hot peppers, it’s extremely important to remember not to touch your eyes, mouth, or anything on your body, really, until you have thoroughly washed your hands. And I mean thoroughly. Ask me how I know. 🙂
(I washed my hands with hot, soapy water after chopping the peppers, but ended up with pepper oil all over my face anyway. I feel like I’ve been assaulted by a very small team of very angry bees. My advice is even when you think your hands are plenty clean, wash them again. Maybe even once more, because pepper oil is tenacious, and it don’t take no prisoners. Ouch.)