Posted by Stephanie Simpson on
Ah, preventative measures.
You know, those little things you do to make sure bigger, bad things don’t happen.
Well, apparently when your brain is telling you to take preventative measures, you should probably listen.
As I was charring veggies to make salsa verde - tomato salsa’s brighter, saucier green cousin - and the peppers started bouncing around in the pan because of the heat, I thought to myself: Hmm, I should probably poke some holes in those.
But I didn’t. And then the really spicy green chile exploded - and I mean exploded - sending blisteringly-hot seeds flying at my face while I stood there, frozen, holding a smoking, ten-pound frying pan full of bubbling vegetables. Not good.
Kitchen mishap aside, this salsa verde - literally “green sauce” - is definitely worth pulling out your cast iron frying pan for. And it’ll give you a reason to pick up some tomatillos - those bright green, tomato-like, papery-skinned fruits that have been kicking around the grocery stores lately. Cool, hey?
Salsa verde is great on chips, tacos, huevos rancheros, fish, meat…the list goes on!
Adapted from Gourmet
Makes about 1.5 cups
½ lb fresh tomatillos (roughly 3 medium tomatillos), husks removed and fruits rinsed*
1 fresh jalapeno, or other hot pepper(s)
1 clove of garlic
¾ tsp salt
3 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
¼ cup water
1. Poke a couple small holes in the tomatillos, pepper, and garlic.
2. Heat a well-seasoned cast iron pan over medium heat. Pan is ready when a drop of water evaporates quickly after touching the surface of the pan. Add tomatillos, pepper and garlic to the pan and roast for 10-15 minutes, turning to char evenly.
3. Allow vegetables to cool for a few minutes, then cut pepper in half and discard half of the seeds and membranes**. Transfer vegetables to a blender or food processor. Add salt, cilantro and water, and coarsely puree***. Adjust with water and salt until consistency and flavour are to your liking.
*I added an extra tomatillo because I found the 1/2 lb version was a bit thin.
**If you’re using really spicy peppers, be careful not to touch the membranes and seeds with your bare hands (either use a spoon or a knife, or wear gloves). The heat in the peppers can irritate your skin. Badly. I know from (recent, unpleasant) experience.
***I can’t show you a photo of the pureeing process because I made the mistake of using an immersion blender and a shallow bowl. It was a mess. I don’t recommend trying it.