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Salsa Verde Recipe

This salsa verde recipe is the second recipe I requested from the chefs while I was in Mexico.  I had NO idea my post on pico de gallo and my hurt over the racism I’ve seen around me lately would spark such a debate, or the HATEFUL and ANGRY emails and comments I received.  I didn’t approve the comments but I have to say I was pretty shocked.  They say if you want lots of comments “be controversial”, but that certainly wasn’t my intention!

I realize that where I live I’m no longer the minority, and I don’t face the same issues a lot of people around me do, but I don’t see that as a reason not to speak out against racism when I see it.  I will always stand up against someone who bullies someone else whether it’s based on race, gender, age, strength, etc.  I’ve been a victim of some terrifying situations, and it took someone standing up for me to show me I can be strong for myself and others (that’s a story for a whole different post!).  So maybe some people feel I’m speaking from a “position of privilege” but honestly they don’t know me, and aren’t willing to post their real email address so we can have a discussion about what upset them so much in my last post, so I don’t think they’re very qualified judges.

To all of you who still like me and read my blog, THANKS!  Let me just take a breath here and move on to the real reason for this post…whew… Salsa Verde!

Salsa verde is the lovely green salsa that you can get at pretty much any authentic Mexican restaurant.  It’s made with tomatillos, which despite their name are not actually a green tomato, but both tomatoes and tomatillos are in the nightshade family.  Tomatillos grow with a papery husk that splits as the fruit ripens.  I love buying fresh tomatillos because if life gets overwhelming and I forget to cook with them for a week or two, they’re still good!  Just make sure to remove the husks and seal them in plastic bags in your refrigerating to make them last as long as possible.

One chef in Mexico had a sour look on his face as he told me that some people use canned tomatillos or boil fresh tomatillos to make salsa verde.  I was obviously supposed to know that this was absolutely not the right method, but it had been a long day and so I needed some guidance.  “Is that bad?”  I asked.  “Si!!”  Both chefs shouted then laughed with me (or at me?).  I must have looked like a mad woman with my sunburned shoulders, tripod under one arm, scribbling down every word they said about a recipe that was so common to them.  But I was so appreciative of the chefs’ time as they patiently talked me through the recipe.

Apparently the best salsa verde is made by roasting fresh tomatillos, which makes sense because roasting chars the flesh and adds a depth of flavor that you just can’t get from boiling.  The chefs use a food processor to make their salsa verde, but the base for our food processor got melted in a small kitchen fire back in November.  Fortunately the blender still works and was perfect for pureeing the ingredients.

I love salsa verde with tacos, quesadillas, nachos, pretty much any dish that reminds me of Mexico!  Next I’m going to try using it in my chilaquiles recipe instead of the canned tomatillos.

Tomatillo Salsa Verde Recipe

makes 1 1/2-2 cups


4 medium to large tomatillos
1/2 of a white onion roughly chopped
1/2 cup loose packed cilantro leaves
juice of one lime
1 small jalapeno seeded and roughly chopped
pinch of sugar
salt and pepper to taste


Preheat your broiler.  Remove papery husks and stems from the tomatillos and cut them in half.  Line a baking pan with foil and place tomatillo halves cut side down in the pan.

Broil tomatillos 6-8 minutes, until flesh is charred and they’re very easily pierced with a fork.

Place tomatillos, onion, cilantro, lime juice, jalapeno and sugar into a blend and puree about 10-20 seconds (until well mixed). Taste, add salt and pepper if desired and mix once more.

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24 thoughts on “Salsa Verde Recipe”

  1. I’m sorry you got mean comments Diana! You don’t deserve that ever! Hang in there girl, and know you are loved!

  2. I cannot believe that you got hateful comments after writing such a nice heartfelt post! I admire you for doing what you did, I wish there were more people like you. There will always be narrow-minded and angry people out there and you got such cowardly replies.
    On a lighter note, this recipe looks fantastic! Can’t wait to try it. Please keep posting and ignore the idiots!

  3. Wow. I’m surprised it sparked that negative of a debate. This does look fantastic though and now I feel like I know more about how to use tomatillos.

  4. Awesome, I’m attempting to grow tomatillos this year and have been keeping my eye out for a good salsa recipe for them. This looks so easy and quick.

  5. This is my 2nd year growing tomatilloes and this year from seed. They are sooo prolific and so insect free. It’s the 3rd of Dec and I just picked about 4 quarts and we;ve been below freezing the last 2 nights. Anyway, can’t wait to try this recipe. Oh, I’m on the east coast in Jacksonville, NC..home to Camp Lejeune Marine Corps base. Nothing like gardening to the sound of Ospreys and Cobra gunships flying overhead!!

  6. I lived in the Phoenix, AZ, metropolitan area for 18 months and definitely felt like a minority in lots of places, but what the hey, you learn to live with it. I only wish public school would have made us learn Spanish so I could converse with some real Mexican people because all those I met were great–very friendly and with a work ethic that is unsurpassed! My husband and I LOVE authentic Mexican food and this is the BEST salsa verde recipe I’ve found so far. I believe the roasting is where it’s at!!

  7. Thank you everyone for your lovely comments. I think the subject of race is so sensitive that I should have realized it might bring up a lot of different issues for people.

    Debra, I agree, it’s the roasting that pushes this over the top. I would have loved learning Spanish. I know some Hawaiian and Japanese but it hasn’t done me much good since moving to Washington 😉

    • How can I print the recipes you put on here withought printing all the stories, etc. I was looking for a salsa verde recipe and stumbled on yours.
      And by the way, if they-othyers don’t like your opinion they can say so. But being nasty, etc is wrong. I can only imagine what you had to read-hear. Kinda reminds me of some feelings-emotions that I had when I was in the Marine Corps and risking my neck for other people in other countries. For their freedom and civil rights.
      I can’t and won’t stand for browbeating anyone. Especially the way he was being. And to a woman no less.
      He is very lucky her family is more civil, human and respectful than he is. Otherwise he would have received the chance to stand up for his opinions and comments. If I was there I would have escorted her out and home if I could and talk to her family then the store Mgr, etc, about the idiot being let go after he apoligized. Hey, right is right and wrong is wrong.
      SEMPER FI !!! And stand up for those who can’t for themselves.
      So hey, how about letting me know about printing just the recipes please.
      Thanks, Harry

      • Hi Harry, thanks for your comment! I’m working on a print recipe feature. For right now your best bet is to just highlight the recipe text, copy it and paste it into word to print. My last print recipe button broke so that option won’t be available until we can make our own version. Take care!

  8. Thank you for the recipe! It is fantastic – although I have had a few people look at me funny when I say that roasted tomatilloes are the best.. Just a quick question – have you ever preserved the salsa in jars using a hot water bath? I have tons of salsa – my crop was amazing this year! And I am running out f freezer space. Is it taboo to jar the salsa? Does the heat required change the flavor?

    Thanks for posting the recipe!! My family loves it!!


    • I haven’t tried canning this yet. The big issue with canning is making sure you have enough acidity to avoid botulism. Even though tomatilloes have a high acidity, most salsa canning recipes require at least a cup of vinegar or lemon juice to be added. You can try adding a little more lime juice and then canning it but I’d recommend just freezing it to be safe. Maybe you can freeze it flat in ziploc bags to save room!

  9. I love this recipe. So very close to my own. I can answer about the canning of this salsa, however looking at the date, I am very late. I have canned Salsa Verde many times and it holds good for a year. I add about a cup of vinegar and it really influences the flavor not at all to very little. Just make sure you put the date you canned it on your label. Thanks for posting and I too am sorry about the comments on your other post.

  10. I know this is an old post, but I just wanted to say thanks because it was so helpful! I had fresh tomatillos just picked the day before and I didn’t add any sugar as they were already quite sweet. The results were yummy!


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