Cooking, Cooking & Eating, Ingredients, etc.

Fresh Tomatillo Salsa

So … it’s summer. Like — really summer.

Yes, I recognize that it’s been “technically” summer for a while now. That it’s been ninety and a hundred degrees on and off for months, and that my electric bills certainly have that summer feel. But there’s a difference between the season and the season, if you know what I mean. And miserable heat aside, it doesn’t really feel like “real” summer to me until there are ripe eggplants, plentiful peppers, okra, and especially — especially — tomatillos.

Um … you must be saying to yourself. Really? Tomatillos? Isn’t that a little bit obscure?

My answer to you (dear readers!): yes it is. But I’m a Southern California boy to my core — born and bred in L.A. And in my beach-going, suntanned heart of hearts, summer means fresh salsa. And good tomatillo salsa is the king of kings.

I suppose, as I think about it, that it’s easier to live with that perception in SoCal, when there are fresh tomatillos at the end of May. But still — I am nothing if not the sum of my upbringing. And if “real” summer has to start in July here in Philly to satisfy my perception of how the season should go, then so be it! I declare it to be so.

1 quart Green Tomatillos, quartered
2 Red Tomatoes
1 Bunch of Cilantro, stemmed and chopped
4 Cloves of Garlic
2 Jalapenos
Juice of 2 Limes
Olive Oil

To the work bowl of a food processor (or blender), add the tomatillos, garlic, jalapenos, half the cilantro, the lime juice, olive oil, pepper, and salt. Puree.

Pour the pureed salsa into a serving bowl. Seed the tomatoes and cut them into small cubes. Add them, along with the other half of the cilantro, to the salsa and stir thoroughly. Cover, and allow the salsa to stand at least for a couple of hours, and preferably overnight.

This salsa will begin to separate. So before serving, stir thoroughly. It’s excellent with chips. But I’ve found that it’s even better as a sauce for pork chops or grilled flank steak.