Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Recipe for Tomatillo Salsa with Roasted Green Chiles, Cilantro, and Lime

Tomatillo  Salsa with Roasted Green Chiles, Cilantro, and Lime
Many years ago one of my friends got a food processor and told me she was going to make salsa. At the time I'd never made salsa, and I thought it sounded very exotic and complicated. Of course, now I realize that if you have fresh ingredients and some idea of the proportions, it's pretty hard to make a bad batch of salsa, even without a food processor. This post is about the salsa I made with the green chiles I roasted on my barbecue grill (plus some of those volunteer tomatillos from the garden) but if you have the fresh tomatillos, I'm thinking you could still make pretty tasty salsa using canned roasted chiles. And remember, making salsa is an art and not a science, so if you'd like a little more or less of one of the ingredients, feel free to improvise.

Last year I grew tomatillos for the first time and wasn't sure how to tell when they were ripe. Now I know that when they fill out the paper husk, they're ready to pick. If you leave them too long, they'll remind you by breaking through the husk but they're still good even at that stage.

I started out with a recipe for Tomatillo Salsa from Mark Bittman, but it quickly morphed into my own version, partly because I have a lot of tomatillos. I used three cups for this recipe, diced quite small.

Here are the freshly roasted green chiles, which I chopped into pieces the same size as the tomatillos.

Combine the diced tomatillos, diced green chiles, minced garlic, diced red onion, salt, and pepper and let it sit for an hour or more to blend the flavors.

Then stir in some green Tobasco sauce (or your favorite hot sauce) and lime juice and marinate while you wash and chop the cilantro. (I switched to a bowl because I thought the measuring cup was getting too full.)

Wash the cilantro, dry well, and finely chop, then stir the chopped cilantro into the mixture. I let mine sit for about 20 minutes more before I served it over the halibut.

Tomatillo Salsa with Roasted Green Chiles, Cilantro, and Lime
(Makes about 4 cups of salsa, recipe adapted from Tomatillo Salsa by Mark Bittman.)

3 cups finely diced tomatillos (about 10-12 tomatillos)
6-8 roasted green chiles, diced (this was about 3 oz diced roasted green chiles, could use canned green chiles, but remember they will be hotter due to seeds)
1 T minced garlic
2/3 cup finely diced red onion (or use white onion)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
green Tobasco to taste, or other hot sauce (I used about 1/2 tsp.)
1/3 - 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro (or less)

Dice tomatillos, roasted Anaheim chiles, and red onion into same-size pieces (about 1/4 - 1/2 inch thick, depending on how chunky you like it.) Put chopped ingredients into bowl with minced garlic and salt and pepper, then let sit at room temperature for an hour or more.

After the flavors have blended together for a while, add hot sauce and lime juice to taste. Wash cilantro, spin dry or dry with paper towels, then finely chop 1 cup cilantro and mix into salsa. I let it sit for about 20 minutes more before I ate it.

This will stay good in the refrigerator for about a week. I thought the flavor was even better after it was in the fridge overnight.

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South Beach Suggestions:
This salsa is a great condiment for any phase of the South Beach Diet. This was great on the grilled halibut for phase one, and could also be served with Grilled Lime and Chile Chicken. You could also eat it with Zucchini and Green Chile Breakfast Casserole or Egg Burritos.

More Recipes Featuring Tasty Tomatillos:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Tomatillo and Black Bean Salsa with Avocado, Lime, and Cilantro from Kalyn's Kitchen
Cafe Rio Style Creamy Tomatillo Salad Dressing from Kalyn's Kitchen
Black Bean and Tomatillo Soup with Lime and Cilantro from Kalyn's Kitchen
Green Beans with Tomatillo Salad Dressing from A Veggie Venture
Chickpea and Tomatillo Soup from Cookworm
Fried Green Tomatillo Grilled Cheese Sandwich from Hugging the Coast
Tomatillo and Yellow Tomato Salsa from Cheap Healthy Good
Roasted Tomatillo Gazpacho from The Gracious Bowl
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

This salsa with the interesting tomatillos, roasted green chiles, and cilantro is my entry for Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by Graziana from Erbe in Cucina this week. WHB is now managed by Haalo from Cook (almost) Anything At Least Once.. If you'd like to participate, here are the rules for Weekend Herb Blogging and who's hosting.
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Posts may include links to my affiliate account at Amazon.com, and this blog earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!

More to Chew On:


  1. Thanks for the sharing! That's real simple one. I loved the roasted chilly idea.

  2. For some reason, all my tomatillos fell off the plant before they were even ready to be picked! I was able to glean a lot of smaller one from the plant the other night (I was afraid it would freeze), but I'm still determined to use every last one!

  3. Oh, this is delightful! I love the serve tomatillo salsa with grilled chicken - the flavors are beautiful together. And your looks amazing!

  4. You have inspired me to grown tomatillos next year! This salsa looks delicious. Great tip about telling when the tomatillos are ripe.

  5. Pass the homemade tortilla chips please!

  6. I love making salsa, and as I've experimented with more and varied ingredients including bits and pieces of fruits and veggies left over from other dishes, I've begun to realize that the green salsas are the ones I like best. Mine would have a bit less cilantro, and a bit more heat -- because, as you say, salsa making is an art, not a science!

  7. I hope I will manage to grow tomatillo next year! Thank you for sharing this recipe with WHB

  8. I am just in love with tomatillos. I made some salsa verde the other day that was to die for. This looks fantastic too.

  9. This is so yummy! Your pics look amazing. Will be sure to try on my hubby who loves tomatillo salsa with grilled chicken!
    Thank you

  10. Well, my entire tomatillo harvest this year is 5.

  11. Fresh home made salsas always hit the spot. Roasting the chilies would add a ton of flavour.

  12. Such a beautiful salsa! I wish the ingredients were a little easier to find around here, but I'm thinking maybe I could do a substitute with green tomatoes?

  13. I like to brown the tomatillos, too, before putting them in the salsa. I cut them in half, then put them cut side down under the broiler for a few minutes, until they brown up good. Heck, it helps the garlic, too.


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