Salsa verde – what comes to mind? To those of us on this side of the Atlantic, salsa verde always means the Italian salsa verde – a vibrant green condiment altogether tangy, peppery, briny, oily and fishy! Definitely a favourite of mine. Let’s face it, anything with anchovies is always going to have a head start with me!
Today’s recipe though, the Mexican Salsa Verde, is made with tomatillos, jalapeños, coriander leaves (cilantro), etc., with not an anchovy in sight. To many, the Mexican Salsa Verde is synonymous with tortilla chips and nachos. It’s slightly tangy and most definitely packing some heat.
Even decades later, with more sophisticated tastebuds, I fall to pieces at the sight of nachos with an OTT amount of salsa verde and soured cream! Still one of my guilty party favourites!
This Mexican salsa verde is a pretty straightforward recipe; with all the ingredients usually lightly blanched, then drained and chopped to a paste. I skip this blanching step, however, preferring to lightly cook the paste after chopping, with a little olive oil. I find that the frying of the salsa with the oil deepens the aroma and flavour more than the prior blanching. Much like many of the chilli pastes and sauces we have on this page. You’ll find them on the Chilli Pepper Page.
When it’s all done, transfer it to a sterilised jar and it should keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. If you want to make it go further, you have 2 options.
Canning/Preserving Mexican Salsa Verde
- Stick with this recipe and use the pressure canning method. Preserved this way, your salsa will last a good 2 years. You can read more about pressure canning here.
- Or you can add the juice of 2 limes to this recipe to further increase the acid level (tomatillos are pretty acidic already), and give it a water bath. Increasing the acid level in the salsa is in keeping with food safety advice on the canning of tomatillos when mixed with low acid level foods like chillies and onions. The lime juice does add a tang to the recipe, but let’s face it, lime juice makes so many recipes taste better! If you are increasing this recipe, be sure to increase the amount of lime juice proportionately too. And, until I do a post on the water bath method, you can read more about that here!
Can the Tomatillo Salsa Verde be Frozen?
Absolutely! Cool it to room temperature and freeze, pushing out as much air as you can in the freezer proof container you are using.
How to Use the Mexican Tomatillo Salsa?
- As a dipping sauce or condiment in all sorts of Mexican style recipes, (of course!) – burritos, nachos, enchiladas, etc
- As a marinade (think roast and barbecue – meat and vegetables)
- As a sandwich flavour filler
- As a cooking ingredient – jazz up your omelettes, tarts, frittatas
- For jazzing up the good old mayo and any salad dressing
Substitute for Fresh Tomatillos
Canned variety will do perfectly. These should be readily available if you have a Mexican store near you or online. In the summer, green, unripe tomatoes are also a great choice.
With all that out of the way, I guess it’s time to salsa!
More Tomatillo Recipes
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Tomatillo Salsa Verde, Green Mexican Tomatillo Salsa
- 5 medium-sized tomatillos
- 3-5 jalapeños to taste
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 small onion
- small handful coriander leaves cilantro
- 1 Tbsp EV olive oil
- 0.5 tsp salt
- Place the tomatillos, jalapeños, garlic, onion and coriander leaves (cilantro) into a chopper and chop to a fairly fine paste. You shouldn’t need any water because the tomatillos and onion have a high water content.
- Heat the olive oil on medium high heat in a small/medium frying pan and sauté the salsa verde for just 3 minutes, adding the salt in and stirring to mix.
- Pour out into your warm sterilised jar and leave to cool, with the lid open.
- When cooled to room temperature, close the lid, and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.