Serious Eats: Recipes

Seriously Meatless: Homemade Salsa Verde

Michael Natkin of the vegetarian blog Herbivoracious drops by most Wednesdays to share a delicious recipe and expand our vegetarian repertoire.

[Photograph: Michael Natkin]

Everyone loves salsa verde, the ubiquitous Mexican green sauce made from tomatillos. It is delicious as a simple dip for chips, and it can be used to sauce enchiladas, offered at the table for anything from quesadillas to tamales, or even act as the cooking medium for eggs.

You can, of course, buy jarred salsa verde, but if you make your own, you can get a much fresher flavor with a heady herbal component. Cilantro is typical, and epazote is great if you can get it. Otherwise, Mexican oregano makes a a delicious if non-traditional addition. Mexican oregano is a completely different plant than European oregano, with an intense, resinous flavor. You can find it at any Mexican grocery.

Tomatillos are only distantly related to tomatoes. The offer a pleasant, tangy backbone to the sauce. They are widely available and easy to work with, but if you are short on time, the canned variety is quite acceptable.

The final "frying" step isn't strictly necessary. Skipping it will give you a thinner sauce with an even brighter flavor. Frying the sauce makes it a little richer and thicker.

Salsa Verde (Mexican Tomatillo Sauce)

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