Tomatillos are a summer staple in my garden, and roasted tomatillo salsa is a staple in my refrigerator all summer long!Jump to Recipe
There are 2 camps when it comes to roasted tomatillo salsa verde. Raw or cooked. I'm a fan of both, personally.
What's a tomatillo?
Let's take a step back. What are tomatillos? I get that question a lot! I don't think this fruit is as ubiquitous as I thought. Tomatillos, also known as Mexican Husk Tomatoes, as part of the nightshade family (tomatoes, peppers, eggplants). Genus: Physalis. They are related to ground cherries. They are a staple in Mexican cuisine and can be consumed raw or cooked. I have grown them for years and they are a staple in my garden.
When tomatillos are at their peak (usually late summer for me), I prefer to use them in fresh and raw tomatillo salsa that I plan to consume within a week. If I am making salsa for long term storage (canned or frozen), I will cook the sauce down to thicken it up. This recipe is a good starting point for both preparations.
Tomatillos are ripe when their husks turn yellow and papery. However you can consume them before they are fully ripe. They get sweeter as they ripen. In fact, I prefer them under ripe as they are still sour and tangy and that's what we want in a good salsa.
What do you need for this recipe?
This recipe is somewhat adaptable and you can certainly adjust the quantities to suit your tastes. Love garlic? Add more of it? Prefer it on the mild side? Use less chiles or none at all.
You will need:
- Fresh tomatillos (about 16)
- Yellow or white onion
- Garlic cloves
- Hot green peppers - Jalapeno, Serrano or any green hot variety
- White vinegar
- Lime juice
- Fresh cilantro (coriander)
- Salt/pepper to taste
- Cumin - Optional
What gives this recipe its distinct "roasted" characteristic is the charring of the fruits and vegetables. I recommend you char your tomatillos, onion, garlic and hot peppers in a hot cast iron skillet. You can also roast them under your oven broiler.
Once charred, transfer the tomatillos, onion, garlic and peppers to the jar of a blender. You do not need a high power blender for this recipe and you can even use a food processor if you prefer.
Note: You can choose to include the pepper seeds or not. The pepper seeds will make your salsa spicier so the choice is yours.
Process along with the rest of the ingredients. You can process for a finer salsa texture or keep it chunky.
Can I freeze this salsa?
Yes! If you're going to freeze your salsa, I recommend you cook it down to remove some of the water content. Transfer the salsa to a small saucepan and cook on medium heat for 8-10 minutes. Let it cool and transfer to wide-mouth mason jars or deli containers and freeze.
Store your salsa in mason jars or glass containers. Avoid any metal containers. The salsa will keep in the fridge for up to a week, or if you followed the cooking method above, in the freezer for up to 1 year.
Tomatillos also freeze quite well. When I have a glut, I will remove their husks, clean them and freeze them whole in a ziplock bag. This way, I can make salsa throughout the year. Because they are high in water content, they tend to get mushy when defrosted so when I make salsa with defrosted tomatillos, it will always be a cooked down salsa.
Delicious and Easy Roasted Tomatillo Salsa Verde
- 2 lbs Fresh tomatillos (about 16) - Husks removed, fruits cleaned well
- 1 Yellow or white onion - Peeled and halved
- 4 Garlic cloves - Skin on
- 2-4 Hot green peppers - Jalapeno, Serrano or any green hot variety
- 2 tablespoon White vinegar
- 1 Lime - Juiced
- 1 handful Fresh cilantro (coriander)
- Salt/pepper to taste
- ½ teaspoon Cumin - Optional
Roast the tomatillos, onion, peppers and garlic
- Using a hot cast iron pan (or comal), dry roast the tomatillos, onion halves, peppers and garlic. We want some scorch marks but not to cook the ingredients. This should take 2-3 minutes. Keep flipping ingredients to get color on multiple sides.
- Alternatively, you can broil the ingredients in your oven.
Blend the ingredients
- Transfer the scorched tomatillos, onion halves and peeled garlic to the blender.
- If you like your salsa spicy, add the hot peppers whole. If you prefer a milder sauce, remove the seeds. If you're not sure how spicy it will be, start with one hot pepper. You can always add heat to a sauce, but you cannot take it out without diluting it!
- Add the cilantro, lime juice, white vinegar and salt/pepper, cumin (if using).
- Pulse the blender a few times. Blend on low/medium but don't over process.
- Taste your sauce and adjust seasonings.
- Pulse or process to desired consistency. I like it a little chunky.
OPTIONAL - Cook your salsa
- If you're going to freeze your salsa, I recommend you cook it down to remove some of the water content. Transfer the salsa to a small saucepan and cook on medium heat for 8-10 minutes. Let it cool and transfer to mason jars or deli containers and freeze. Frozen green salsa will keep for up to 1 year, but I guarantee you'll use it before then.