I love salsa in all forms. This roasted tomatillo salsa is easy to make at home. It can be whipped up quickly using a food processor. While fresh pico de gallo is a chunky salsa, this medium salsa is smoother in texture and runner.
Choosing and using tomatillos
Tomatillos are green fruits (just like tomatoes are fruits) in a papery husk. Translated from Spanish to “little tomato” these bright green gems are tarter and less sweet than their tomato cousins. Tomatillos (also called husk tomatoes) can be found by the tomatoes in the produce department of the grocery store.
Raw tomatillos taste tart (think acidic) and are slightly herbal. But when you roast them, the flavor deepens and brightens.
Choose tomatillos that are firm rather than rock-hard. Look for ones with husks that are papery and pretty much intact. If you peel back the husk and notice holes from bugs or leathery areas, put those tomatillos back, The fruit under the husk has a sticky residue that is easy to wash off before you use them. I like to choose like-sized tomatillos so they roast at the same rate.
If you can’t find fresh tomatillos, there are several brands that sell canned versions. Check out the Hispanic aisle in the grocery store. While you won’t be able to roast these, they can be substituted in a pinch.
Roasting Vegetables for Roasted Tomatillo Salsa
Roasting tomatillos, onion, jalapeño, and tomatoes will enhance the flavor. You are not trying to cook the vegetables, but rather char the skin. This step is helpful to remove the skin of the pepper and tomatoes and improve the mouth-fill.
You don’t have to get every bit of the charred skin off as small bits add a flavor dimension to the salsa.
Place the halved tomatillos, tomatoes, and onion, and the whole jalapeño on a rack or parchment-lined baking sheet in a preheated broiler or grill. Or place a metal rack on the burner of a gas stovetop and roast until the outsides are charred. Watch to make sure the veggies don’t burn. Turn the vegetables occasionally to expose all the sides of the vegetables to the heat.
When nicely charred, remove the vegetables from the heat and let cool. Use a paper towel to wipe the charred skin off the pepper, tomatillos, and tomatoes.Print
Roasted tomatillo salsa is a great medium salsa you can easily make at home. The tart taste of tomatillos give this sauce a fabulous zing.
- 8 tomatillos, papery husk removed, washed, and sliced in half, (about 1 pound)
- 3 Roma tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1 medium red onion, papery peel removed and onion sliced in half
- 1 jalapeno
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1–2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 – 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 cup cilantro, minced, (about 1/2 a bunch)
- Remove the papery husk from the tomatillos and rinse them with cold water to remove the residue. Pat dry and slice in half through the equator and set aside.
- Slice the Roma tomatoes in half through the stem end and set them aside.
- Slice the red onion in half through the stem end and set aside.
- If roasting the vegetables in the broiler of the oven, prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment.
- Move the rack in the oven to the top third of the oven Preheat the broiler to 500°F.
- Arrange the tomatillos and tomatoes sliced side down, the onion and jalapeño and garlic cloves on the parchment lined baking sheet.
- Place baking tray in the oven and roast until the outsides are charred and brown, (about 5-7 minutes). Make sure they don’t burn.
- If roasting on the grill or stovetop, arrange the tomatillos, tomatoes, onion and jalapeño on a cooling rack and roast until the outsides get a nice char, turning as needed.
- No matter how you roasted the vegetables, allow them to cool and then use a paper towel to remove the charred skin.
- In a food processor, add the tomatillos, tomatoes, onion, garlic and jalapeño and pulse until the salsa is the desired texture.
- Stir in half of the kosher salt, cumin and black pepper and mix well to combine.
- Taste and add more kosher salt to taste.
- Stir in the minced cilantro.
- Serve or chill in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
If you want to lessen the heat of the roasted tomatillo salsa, remove the seeds and membranes of the jalapeño before adding them to the food processor.
If the salsa tastes too acidic, stir in up to 1/2 teaspoon of honey to the salsa. Add a few drops at a time, taste and add more to tone down the acidity.
Serving Ideas for Roasted Tomatillo Salsa
While you can use tomatillo salsa with any Tex Mex meal. It is a fantastic medium salsa that pairs well with tacos, enchiladas, chimichangas, etc.
Try a Salsa Bar
A great party idea is to make a salsa bar with a large variety of Tex Mex sauces.
Serve with large bowl of tortilla chips, blue tortilla chips and flavored tortilla chips.