Sunday, February 28, 2010

Tomatillo Salsa

This is a recipe I developed several years ago because I wanted to eat salsa.  I am allergic to tomatoes, so you know what that means.  While everyone else enjoys those lovely chips and salsa, I am stuck munching on dry chips - and that just is not fair.  I normally make this on a regular basis during the hot summer months - but we had to turn the air conditioner on the other day and William asked me to make it.  He had that sad puppy dog look in his eyes and I could not deny him.  And any chance I can get more raw vegetables into my family - the better!


Here are the cast of characters:  multi-colored bell-peppers (I tend not to use green as there are many other green veggies in the mix and green bells tend to upset my tummy and not be as sweet), red onion, garlic, lemon, lime, serrano or jalapeno peppers, tomatillos, honey, cilantro, seedless cucumber, and kosher salt. 

These are tomatillos.  They are a member of the gooseberry family - NOT the tomato family.  They have that paper husk on them just like gooseberries.

Once I remove the husks, I like to wash the tomatillos really well with soapy water because there is a sticky coating on them to hold those husks on.  They do look like green tomatoes, don't they?  I can see why people get confused and think they are in the tomato family.

Once you cut them open though, you do realize that they are not like tomatoes at all.  I cut these babies up and toss them in a little food processor.

I add to the processor one toe of peeled garlic, the 5 serrano peppers cut up (I used serrano this time because I had them and I didn't seed them because I found them to be mild), about 1/4 cup of honey (the honey tempers the heat of the peppers and adds a nice sweetness to the salsa that I like), and a nice big pinch of kosher salt.

I also squeeze in the lemon and lime juice in at this point after I zest them.  The zest is so wonderful - I have to use it!  I also throw in the cilantro.  I usually do all of this in batches.  I puree the ingredients and put them in a bowl. 

Now, we get to the fun part where Camille Ana can help me with the fun gadget my Dad got us that chops the veggies all the same size with one single whack!

Such concentration!!!  We both wore red shirts that day in honor of President's day!

Push, Camille Ana, push!!!!  This is fun stuff, let me tell you!!!  Camille Ana loves to chop the bell peppers this way.  It can also be done easily with a knife, but I have the cool gadget and heck - why not use it!  I also do the red onion and the seedless cucumber this way.  Camille Ana did eat the center part of the cucumber as a snack.

Place everything in the bowl with the pureed tomatillo mixture.  Aren't the colors just lovely?  Taste it to make sure the honey and salt and picante levels are ok, adjust as necessary.  Mix it up and serve with chips.  The salsa can also be used as an accompaniment to grilled meats.  Yum!!


  1. okay this looks so beautiful, almost as beautiful as the little girl peaking in those pictures, keep em' coming

  2. troll!fail. --I think this looks delicious. Also have a tomato allergy... and tomatillos save my life. Consider also mango... it's great if it's a little green, thai-salad style. And something like what you've made whizzed in the blender with some avocado is also first-rate...

  3. To Louise:
    Have fun on your return trip "to your native Sicily"

  4. I had a craving for fresh corn. I found a recipe for black bean and corn salsa. All fresh veggies. Made it for a Halloween get together. Very Yummy!I'll find it and post it.

  5. The Goose Berry is in the genus of Ribes in the Grossulariaceae family. The Cape Gooseberry and the Tomatillo are in the genus Physalis, wich is a genus of the Solanaceae or Nightshade family. Other Plants found in this family are tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplant.