Roasted Tomatillo Salsa (Salsa Verde)

Ahh, Cinco de Mayo – pretty much my favorite holiday next to Christmas. Where I can drink as many margaritas and eat as much guacamole as I want, and not be chastised for it. It’s funny actually, because a little over 5 years ago I wouldn’t have touched Mexican food with a 10 foot-pole. Can  you believe that? Thank goodness I came around, and things like tomatillos and cilantro are on my shopping list every week. In fact, I’ve started visiting my local Latin produce guy at the flea market every week – just because his produce is superior, and a much better bargain than at Mega Mart. I get all my Mexican staples there – dried beans, limes, corn husks for tamales, poblanos and jalapenos. Heh, it never ceases to amaze me where these roads in my kitchen are leading me everyday!

So, in case you were wondering – like I was 5 years ago – what in the Hell is a tomatillo? And, what do I do with it? I’m here to help! While they look similar to green tomatoes – they’re actually closely related to gooseberries. They have a papery husk on them that must be removed before cooking. They have a bright flavor, with a natural smokiness. When roasted, that flavor is amplified. And when combined with other flavors – like roasted garlic and jalapeno, it’s just out of this world.

I like to serve this salsa whenever I make carnitas, as I think the brightness plays off wonderfully against the richness of the pork. But, it’s good with all kinds of traditional Mexican dishes! And, a change of pace from the traditional red salsa that we all know and love. So step outside of your comfort zone, and try something new for this Cinco de Mayo!


  1. Posted May 3, 2013 at 11:09 AM | Permalink

    YUM. I love tomatillo salsa. I’m pinning this one for sure!

  2. Posted May 4, 2013 at 12:00 AM | Permalink

    I love Tomatillos! I just want to dive right into this bowl of salsa with some chips. Great summer recipe 🙂

  3. Posted May 4, 2013 at 12:52 AM | Permalink

    I love tomatillos, what a tasty salsa!

  4. Trish
    Posted May 4, 2013 at 10:34 PM | Permalink

    Hello again,

    If you really want authentic salsa verde, you need to roast the tomatillos, chile poblano, jalapeños, and garlic. One key ingredient you left out is the cumin seed, which needs to be toasted in order to bring out the full flavor of the salsa verde.

    Otherwise, you have a very bland sauce with no depth of Mexican favor.

    Trish from Los Angeles, Ca

    • Posted May 5, 2013 at 3:31 AM | Permalink


      The tomatillos, garlic, and jalapeno are roasted in the frying pan before blending. This develops tons of flavor, including smokiness. I feel that adding cumin is overkill – then it just tastes like cumin. I love your suggestion of poblano though – although, sometimes I have a hard time finding them regularly in my small town here on the East Coast. So glad summer is coming!

  5. Posted May 5, 2013 at 11:47 PM | Permalink

    I love tomatillo salsa and can finish the whole bowl at one go!

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