Philacatessen | Tomatillo Salsa

Photos by Keri White

I was inspired to make this versatile condiment when a friend showed up at my house with five tomatillos rolling around on the floor of her car: “I’m throwing them out. I was overenthusiastic at the market, and I can’t use them all.”

Of course, I couldn’t stand the idea of wasting such a precious commodity, so I scooped the husked green orbs and whisked them into my kitchen.

Tomatillos have a slightly sour flavor and are wonderful when simmered with the right blend of ingredients to produce a unique, savory sauce. The resulting salsa is delightful on fish, chicken or beef and can be served as a dip with corn chips, whisked into sour cream, yogurt or guacamole, or served alongside tacos, quesadillas, nachos or any Mexican dish.

I ladled this over grilled petit filet, which I had sprinkled with salt, cumin and lime juice before searing. Tuesday night never tasted so good.

Tomatillo Salsa

Makes 1 cup

5 tomatillos, husks removed and cut in quarters

½ of a medium-sized onion, coarsely chopped

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup broth or water

½ teaspoon ground cumin

1 dried chili pepper (or ½ teaspoon dried chili flakes)

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a medium-sized saucepan and bring them to a boil.
  2. Lower the heat and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the ingredients begin to dissolve, about 30 minutes. Taste and adjust for salt or spice. Store the salsa in your refrigerator, sealed, for up to a week.


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