Salsa Verde

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By Joan MacIsaac


There are many versions of green sauce or Salsa Verde. A raw Salsa Verde or Salsa Cruda de Tomatillo is very easy to assemble and best served immediately.


Makes 2 cups.


10–12 medium tomatillos

1 jalapeno chile, stemmed, seeded and roughly chopped

4 green onions, green tops removed and roughly chopped

½ cup cilantro, stemmed and roughly chopped

Salt and pepper as needed


1. Peel the husk off the tomatillos and place them in a bowl of warm water for 3 to 5 minutes. Drain the water and rinse the tomatillos. Place them in a saucepan, cover with water and a sprinkle of salt. Bring the tomatillos to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until they are just soft, about 8 minutes. Drain the tomatillos and set aside to cool. See note below.

2. Place the tomatillos, jalapeno chile, green onion and cilantro in a blender or food processor. Purée until the mixture is coarse. Transfer the purée to a small bowl and add about ¼ cup of water to thin.

3. Season with salt and pepper. Let the salsa sit for a bit to develop its flavors. Test for heat and adjust as needed.


Salsa Verde can become the staple condiment of your table. Serve with fish, grilled chicken or pork, rice or your favorite corn chips.


Note: Another method for preparing the tomatillos is to roast them in the oven. Place them on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or lightly tossed with 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil. Roast in a 375°F oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until they are soft to the touch. Roasting will mellow the tartness and give them a longer shelf life.




Easy to grow in many climates and very prolific, tomatillos are small round green tomatoes (not to be confused with an under-ripe red tomato) about the size of a golf ball, with a lantern-shaped papery husk. They are meatier than a red tomato and have a citrus flavor. Tomatillos are ripe and ready to pick when they fill their husk. If left on the vine too long, they tend to become mealy, or dry. Once picked tomatillos will last for weeks in your refrigerator. The skin on the tomatillo has a sticky coating. When prepping the tomatillos, peel off the papery husk and soak the tomatillos in a bowl of warm water, then rinse.