18 June 2012

Salsa Verde

I can't remember the first time I had salsa verde, but I've always enjoyed it as a tart and piquant alternative to the standard red salsas. Why doesn't it show up more often with the tortilla chips at the beginning of a meal?

I started out with cored tomatillos and a serrano pepper, roasted under the broiler until slightly blackened. I peeled everything and then added in salt and minced shallots and garlic and a handful of cilantro at the last minute.

I ground everything in the molcajete, using the technique of leaving some chunks while making a smooth paste in other regions. (At this point, if you want to use it to cover chicken enchiladas or some other baked dish, you can blend it with chicken broth.)

The humble husk tomato or tomatillo is a curious fruit, but delivers such a perfect lemony goodness for salsa. You've got the texture of tomatoes but a bright citrus/green flavor, and the roasting deepens and intensifies those elements. Thankfully my molcajete is well seasoned, so I also got a little cumin and residual ancho/guajillo flavor in there. Three days later, this salsa verde is still amazing and great with leftover goat, corn tortilla chips, and even salmon.

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