About a year ago, I stumbled across a fantastic turkey burger recipe over at Closet Cooking which incorporated salsa verde into the burger. I made the burgers using store bought salsa verde and it was a huge hit. I was quite pleased with myself until I looked on the back of the salsa verde bottle and read all of the unhealthy crap that went into it. I honestly couldn’t pronounce half of the ingredients and was saddened to see that tomatillos (the heart of a good salsa verde) were fifth on the list. I decided then and there to round up some tomatillos when they were in season and make my own.
I actually wasn’t even sure tomatillos grew in the Mid-Atlantic region and I all but forgot my vow to make my own until I went to the Penn Quarter Farmers Market a few weeks ago. I saw the sign for tomatillos at the Mountain View Farms stand and the salsa verde incident immediately came back to mind. Unfortunately, my bag was full and I didn’t have space to put one more thing. But I promised myself I’d pick up tomatillos over the weekend at another market.
Surprisingly, however, I didn’t see tomatillos at the markets I frequented over the next few weekends. I was getting a bit disheartened that I’d missed their season. But as luck would have it, there were tomatillos EVERYWHERE at the Falls Church Farmers Market last Saturday (just in time for Market Week!). I picked up about 2 pounds of the little green beauties, some jalepenos, garlic and onions for the salsa but alas cilantro was nowhere to be found. We’d arrived at the market around 10:30 and apparently cilantro had sold out around 9 (popular little herb during the Summer). I was forced to get a bunch of cilantro from Whole Foods, so not everything in this dish came from the market. But aside from the cilantro and the lime (limes don’t grow in the Mid-Atlantic region), all of the ingredients were locally grown!
2 pounds tomatillos, husk removed, cleaned and cut in quarters
2-4 jalepenos (depending on how hot you want it), de-seeded and cut in half
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small bunch cilantro, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
Salt to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place the quartered tomatillos and the jalepenos on it, skin side up. Roast for about 30 minutes or until the tomatillos are a golden brown. Remove them from the oven and allow to cool completely.
When the tomatillos and peppers have cooled, place all of the ingredients (save the salt and lime juice) into a food processor as you can. The tomatillos will have released some juices while roasting. Make sure you get as much of these juices into the food processor! Blitz everything until the salsa reaches your desired consistency (some people prefer slightly chunkier salsa, but I like mine relatively smooth). Add the lime juice and salt to taste.
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