Green Tomato Salsa
In Mexican food the salsa is as important as the main dish itself, no table is complete without it and it can transform an ordinary everyday meal or snack into an extraordinary one! This recipe was given to me by my Mother-in-Law a few years ago.
This is a very simple “salsa verde” or green (tomato) salsa, made from nothing more than tomatillos o tomates verdes (green tomatoes), cebolla (onion), ajo (garlic), chiles verdes (green chillies) and cilantro. You can make it as mild or spicy as you like. It is more acidic and tangy than red salsa and goes great with tacos, quesadillas, sopes or any other mexican antojitos. Some recipes like Costillas de Puerco en Verdolagas, Enchiladas de Pollo en Salsa Verde or Chilaquiles Verdes, use this sauce as a main part of the dish. My hubby makes killer Costillas de Puerco en Verdolagas, so I will post it at some point, he also keeps telling me how good his Chilaquiles are, soon I hope to find out and share!
10 Green Tomatoes, husks removed
2+ Green Serrano Chillies – use more or less according to your taste, we like it hot in our house so i would use around 6-8 for this amount
1/4 White Onion
3+ Cloves Garlic, whole, peeled
Cilantro, finely chopped
You will need a Molcajete or a blender.
There are two ways to make a green salsa, either on the stove or on the BBQ grill, then either using a molcajete or a blender. Doing it on the BBQ obviously gives it that wonderful smoky flavour, but you are not going to light the barbie just to make salsa, it still tastes great done on the stove. Then once the ingredients are ready you have a choice of using a blender or my favourite, the molcajete.
1. Put tomatoes and chillies in a small pot with water almost covering them. Bring to the boil, then allow to simmer for 10-15 mins or until soft. They will have changed colour to a duller green. Once cooked drain off the water.
Alternatively, if you are doing it on the BBQ put the toms and chillies either direct on the grill, on a comal or a frying pan, and let them cook for 10-15 mins or until they are cooked and soft.
2. Onion and garlic can be left raw, thrown in the pot with the toms and chillies to boil or wrapped in foil and put on the stove burner/BBQ grill to soften for 10-15 mins.
3. For the final stage choose your weapon, blender or molcajete..
If using a blender: Put all ingredients in the blender, add salt and blend to desired consistency, check flavour and add more salt if necessary.
For the molcajete, it’s better if you do it in this order: First put the garlic in with a good pinch of salt, this helps break up the garlic, then add the onion and grind it to a thin paste. Next add the chillies, these are a bit tougher so take a bit more work. Finally add the tomatoes one by one, be careful as you squash them if the hot juice squirts out it will burn you!! Taste it and add salt if necessary.
4. Pour into a bowl or leave in the molcajete, put the chopped cilantro on the top in the center and ya! Listo! Enjoy with your favourite snack or meal.