Recipe: Tomatillo Salsa

This stuff is currently disappearing rather rapidly. I’m gonna need more pita chips.

Back in September I started playing around with a recipe for a green sauce made by Mario Batali’s babysitter, Aculpoca-born Leo Maya. I’d been itching for a while to make a salsa out of it, and the concept has been on the back burner since then. This afternoon, Adam and I finally broke down and made some. It turned out just right, with a great balance of citrus and heat. Mary and the kids are digging in, and it hasn’t really cooked all the way quite yet.

Tomatillo Salsa
Yield: About 1 quart
Adapted from Leo Maya’s Chicken with Green Sauce

1-1/2 lb tomatillos
3 cloves garlic
1 serrano pepper
2 limes
1 bunch cilantro leaves
1/4 each red, orange and yellow bell pepper
1/2 medium red onion
Kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper

Set eight quarts water to boil over high heat. Husk and rinse the tomatillos, setting half of them aside. Clean the garlic cloves and cut the ends from the serrano pepper. When the water is at a rolling boil, add half the tomatillos, the garlic cloves and the serrano pepper. Boil them for two minutes, then drain them. Dump the blanched itmes into a blender, along with the cilantro leaves and the juice and zest of the limes. Purée until smooth, then set aside to cool.

Chop the remaining tomatillos, the bell pepper and the red onion and place them into a glass bowl. When the purée is cool, add it to the chopped items and mix well. Add plenty of salt, and ground black pepper to taste. Serve chilled with chips, on breakfast burritos, etc.

Note: This salsa would probably be considered to be “mild”. For additional heat, add another serrano pepper or two while also adding more garlic cloves.


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  1. Boy that looks good. I have been searching for good tomatillos for a while but all I find are the half dead looking ones. I would like to find some fresh ones to try the Mario Batali recipe.

  2. Cyndi, we picked up all the ingredients for this, this morning at Ciolino’s on Lewis. They’re long the back wall of the market to the right of the opening to the back. Right now, these are the best tomatillos I can find, with mostly decent green husks.

  3. That looks great and dare I say healthy. But I mainly wanted to let you know you dropped a Jones Soda bomb in my blog. We even got a terrific way to use the weird stuff as an ice breaker at parties.


  4. Oh, let’s see here … there they are. Both versions of the 2005 Jones Holiday Pack, sitting on top of one of my bookcases. I might just have to blog about these things. I wonder if they get better with age … 😀

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