Tomatillos are funny little fruits.
They're sour and bright, bright green when they are ripe. Clothed in papery skins and a sticky residue that will remind you: these are not green tomatoes.
What are these little guys all about? Happy to be eaten raw and tangy, tomatillos will bite back. (Try these yummy tostadas from Cookie + Kate, one of my favorite fellow food bloggers, and you will wonder why you never did before.)
But roasted and caramelized, the color softens and the sourness of these tiny fruits is mellowed to a subtle tang. Salsa bedfellows onion, garlic, and jalapenos all relax and sweeten up in the oven, too. It's the recipe for a perfect sweet-tart-spicy salsa.
It's an oven-to-food-processor recipe. No tiresome seeding and chopping tomatoes for pico de gallo, for example. This is a smoother, saucier salsa that won't take long to prepare. It's great with chips or reserved for use in recipes such as chicken enchiladas or breakfast burritos or pork-stuffed poblano peppers. Are you hungry yet?
Coronas ready? Chips on hand? You're half way there. The recipe for homemade salsa follows.
Roasted Tomatillo Salsa
Adapted from Tyler Florence
1 pound tomatillos
1 onion, peeled and quartered
3 cloves garlic, peeled and whole
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
juice of 1/2 lime
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Remove husks from tomatillos and wash and dry them.
Roast tomatillos, quartered onion, jalapeno (whole), and garlic on a baking sheet for 15 minutes until lightly browned.
Cut off the stem of the roasted jalapeno carefully with a knife, leaving seeds and everything else in tact. Discard the stem. Dump trimmed jalapeno and everything else from the baking sheet into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. Add cumin, salt, and lime juice and pulse a few more times. Pour into a clean bowl and set aside to cool. Stir in chopped cilantro.
Serve immediately with tortilla chips or over tacos, or reserve for use in recipes such as chicken enchiladas or breakfast burritos or pork-stuffed poblano peppers. Double the recipe and save the extra in a mason jar for a party or a beach weekend. Store in fridge for up to a week.