17 August 2012

Grilled Salsa Verde

This one recipe has altered my garden plan for next year.  It’s. That. Good.
Tomatillos used to be one of those veggies that I’d never tried and didn’t know what to do with (are you listening, erinberries?).  But that changed this spring with the production of Pumpkin Seed Chili Sauce.  And then I recently received some excess tomatillos from a family member’s garden. 
Tomatillos are usually used in green sauces.  Not being one to break with tradition (give me a break, I am still learning how tomatillos behave), I started looking for salsa verde recipes.  In the end, I didn’t use a recipe, but I did glean from my research that tomatillos needed to be cooked to soften up – no fresh salsa with these guys.  Cue grill.
Yup.  That’s right.  We’re starting to tread into non-traditional waters.  Grilled Salsa Verde!  Your grill time is going to depend on how hot (and how nice…) your grill is.  Mine doesn’t heat too well, mostly due to wind from the lake.  The basic goal here is to char the outside of the tomatillos, and get them cooked enough on the inside to soften them up.  You can also use your broiler for this.  Keep an eye on them.  Flip if necessary.
Let them cool slightly, then give them a good pulse in the food processor.
Add massive amounts of flavor by throwing in a serrano, some onion, and cilantro.  Lime juice and a bit of zest complete the palate.
Pulse in the food processor to desired consistency. 
Taste test!  Try a bite.  Panic because it’s super spicy and you’re taking it to a cookout with people who aren’t big fans of super spicy.  Run to the local market and get more tomatillos.  Repeat steps 1 and 2.  Oh wait!  That’s just me…I’m sure you had much better foresight than I did.
Serve it up at an outdoor gathering.  Brag about your dish’s locally sourced produce.  Sit around the campfire and drink beer until the mosquitoes become unbearable.  Be thankful for wonderful friends.

Grilled Salsa Verde

1 lb tomatillos, husk-free and washed (roughly 2 - 3 cups)
1 serrano pepper
Half a large onion - around 3/4 cup
A handful of cilantro
Juice + zest from one lime (omit zest for less lime flavor)

1.  Put all the tomatillos on a skewer for easy grilling.  Turn your grill up high and grill until just charred.  Turn them over as needed.  Broiler alternative: slice each tomatillo in half and put on a cookie sheet, skin side up.  Broil until just charred.
2.  Let the tomatillos cool slightly, then pulse in a food processor.
3.  Add in the onion, serrano, cilantro, lime and S&P.  Pulse to desired consistency
4.  Let sit (in fridge) for at least 24 hours before serving to let the flavors marry and marinate.

Oh, and for those of you wondering how this altered my garden plans...tomatillos have been added to the list for next summer.  I would love to can some salsa verde next harvest season.

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