There is one ingredient and one ingredient only that I miss the most living in Ireland, and that is fresh Tomatillos. They are also known as Tomate Verde (green tomatoes) or Mexican Tomatoes and they are widely used in most Latin American Countries. They are related to the cape gooseberry (that little orange colour fruit in a yellow husks that seems to top nearly every cake in the supermarkets?). They are the size of a large cherry tomato and grow in an inedible, paper-like brown husk. They are green in colour and are meatier and slightly more acidic than regular tomatoes. They are also incredibly delicious and the main ingredient for this authentic Salsa Verde.
All good Salsas Verdes are made with tomatillos and since they are very difficult to get fresh here, I have learnt to use tinned ones instead. The flavour is somehow tamer, but after so many years depriving myself of fresh ones, the tinned ones taste just fine! Hope you enjoy this incredibly good and easy to make salsa.
Note: there's only one place to get tinned tomatillos in Ireland at the moment, and that is in my shop! (cheeky but true), so hop onto the shop tab and get a small tin and try them out. If you get the bigger tin, 2.8 kilo, you can separate them into salsa portions and freeze them (using the juice from the tin). I've been also told by two of my readers that Organic Delights at the St. Anne's Market had them last year for a while and that some fresh ones were also found in the Sonairte Farmer's Market during the season (July to September). If you do find them fresh, use them, they are an amazing little food.
Heat the olive oil in a small, non-stick pan with a lid at low heat. While oil heats, open you tin of tomatillos and carefully drain them. Tomatillos are very delicate fruit when tinned, as they are very juicy and tend to burst easily releasing tons of their lovely little seeds and flavour, so be gentle to avoid unnecessary bursting. If they do burst, don't worry, use them anyway.
Bring the heat of the pan to a medium high and put the tomatilos in the pan with the rest of the ingredients. Cover the pan and bring it to a boil, lower the heat to low and let everything simmer for about 15 minutes.
Remove from the heat. By now your tomatillos would have burst and the whole pan will be full of juices, so don't be surprised. Pour everything into a blender or food processor and season with salt. Liquidize the contents until smooth.
I like my salsas smooth and velvety, but it's all a matter of taste. If you like your salsas chunkier, or with a bit of a rough texture, liquidize the garlic, onions and chili with some of the juices of the pan first (no nasty surprises that way) and then add the tomatillos and the rest of the juice and blitz once or twice.
This salsa is delicious and it will go really well with many of the taco recipes in this blog. It's fabulous just as a dipping sauce with tortilla chips and it works perfectly well as a base for Green Enchiladas. Hope you like it!