Seriously… all I can say is… MEET MY NEW LOVE!
Ta-da… it’s the Tomatillo, yes, I’ve had it before, as a sauce in Mexico or Mexican restaurants and I’ve seen it around but I have to admit that I’ve never actually had one, fresh, with it’s clothes off, and in it’s natural state unmarred by heat. So when we got a box of these from an acquaintance, I wasn’t thrilled and I wasn’t sure what to do with them. I decided to undress it, wash it, slice it in half… and eat it raw…. WOW… it had me at the first bite. I kept trying to walk away but just couldn’t.
Though these are Mexican relatives of the tomato they really have a very different taste and texture. Tomatillos are crisp and tart… and yes, they are juicy but in a very different way. Now, anyone who knows me is well aware that I love, love, love tart food… so this relationship is one that is made in heaven!
As I tried to figure out what to do with these, I ate several… and several more… they have just enough tart bite that isn’t overpowering and keeps you coming back for more… I swear…. they are highly addictive! Scouring the internet I quickly discovered that the way most people eat these is cooked and seasoned and macerated to a pulp. I wanted to keep chunks of these in tact… I love their texture.
After not being able to find any recipes that made a chunky salsa with these I made up my own, tasting all the way and discovered a version of a salsa that I really think is amazing… a little tart, a little sweet, a little heat… great texture and not so hot that anyone in the family can’t enjoy it. It basically follows the traditional ingredients that go well with Tomatillos.
Chunky Tomatillo Salsa
- drizzle of olive oil
- 5-6 lbs of fresh tomatillos
- 4 medium tomatoes
- 2 medium onions
- 4-5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 red pepper
- 1/2 orange or yellow pepper
- 3 jalapenos (seeded, or not if you really like heat) finely diced
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 3/4 cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon of honey dijon mustard
- splash of white wine vinegar (literally a splash)
- salt and pepper to taste
- dash or more cayenne pepper to give it a little heat
- fresh chopped cilantro (added at the very end)
Make sure you wash the tomatillos in a little soapy bath, rinse and then dry. Chop tomatillos, peppers, onions, into bite sized chunks.
Put the onions and garlic in a large pot with a drizzle of olive oil turn the element on and add everything else… the peppers, the jalapenos, lime juice, splash of white wine vinegar and let it simmer until it all gets nice and hot. I didn’t want to overcook everything since I was hoping to keep some of the texture of the tomatillos. Add the salt and pepper and cilantro and a little shake of cayenne (if you like). Then once everything is starting to bubble put in your immersion blender, but only to blend for a little bit if you like your salsa chunky. I found that there wasn’t enough thickness in the salsa so I blended it just for a very quick mix… making sure to have lots of chunky bits for some good salsa texture.
I gave mine a hot bath in the jars to preserve them but I’m sure you can also freeze or if you’re like me… you can cool them down and then eat them! This made six 500 ml jars and I’m sure they won’t last very long!