My version of salsa verde – long live the tomatillo!
Adapted from Tomatillo Salsa in The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, J. Kingry & L. Devine, eds.
- 4 cups (about 2 lbs husked) tomatillos, husked, rinsed and finely chopped
- 1/2 cup red onion, diced to 1/4-inch (about 1 tennis ball-sized)
- 1/2 cup Cubanelle peppers (or green bell peppers), diced to 1/4-inch
- 1/2 cup minced jalapeno & long green chile peppers, with or without seeds (about 3 – 4 large) (wear gloves)
- 1/4 + 1/8 cup white vinegar
- 4 tbsp lime juice
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 and 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp chile pepper flakes
- 1 tsp raw sugar (optional)
- If canning, prepare canner, jars and lids.
- Chop vegetables (a food processor works well here). Add all ingredients except cilantro to a medium stockpot; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and boil gently for 10 – 15 minutes, or until vegetables have softened and the salsa has thickened slightly. Add cilantro, mix well and return to a boil.
- Ladle hot salsa into hot, sterilized jars; remove air bubbles and push all vegetables down below the level of the liquid, adding more salsa to yield a 1/2-inch headspace if necessary. Wipe rims, affix lids and process for 15 minutes in a boiling water bath.
Yields about 5 half-pints.
- This year’s tomatillos seemed espeically astringent, therefore I added just a small amount of sugar to the salsa; not to taste any sweetness, just to cut the astringency.
- I added Cubanelle peppers this year as well, to add a little balance and sweetness to the salsa. Cubanelles are a light green pepper that look like banana peppers and have a similar mild flavor. You can substitute banana peppers, green bell peppers, or eliminate them entirely; just make sure that the total amount of onions, peppers and chile peppers is no more than 1 and 1/2 cups [as always, for safety in canning do not alter the proportions of acid (tomatillos, vinegar, lime juice) and low-acid (onions, peppers, cilantro, garlic) ingredients].
- The jalapenos give this a nice kick but this salsa is not overly spicy; you can easily control the heat by modulating the amount of seeds you include. If you want a very spicy salsa verde, you can replace the Cubanelles with jalapenos and/or add a habanero or two (remembering to keep the total amount of low-acid veg to 1 and 1/2 cups).
- Since there is plenty of acidity in the recipe from the tomatillos & vinegar, feel free to use fresh lime juice. Toss in the zest while you’re at it.
- Roasting the vegetables works nicely as well; you lose the bright acidity of the tomatillo but you add a nice, complex smoky note. Roast whole vegetables, then chop, then add remaining ingredient and bring to a boil before canning.
Canned, store in a cool, dark spot for up to 1 year. Refrigerated, use within 3 weeks.