I believe in delicious salsa. I know there are lots of ways to short cut it (cilantro can take things a long way flavor-wise), but the labor of love that is a roasted, robust salsa is unparalleled.
As an AZ girl, it’s hard to pick a clear favorite. But after this last batch, green salsa just might take the cake.
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Roasted Tomatillo Salsa
Yields: about 4 cups
2 lb. tomatillos
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
2-3 large anaheim peppers
1 jalapeño (optional for added heat)
6-10 cloves of garlic
½ c. cilantro
2 limes, juiced
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. honey
large pinch of ground cumin
½ tsp. sea salt (adjust to taste)
¼ tsp. black pepper
Remove the husks and wash the tomatillos well with a fruit and veggie wash (straight apple cider vinegar will work too with a rough brush) to remove the sticky film on the outside. Cut them in half and add them to a large bowl. Add the chopped onion and peppers (keep them whole). Drizzle about 2 tbsp. high-heat cooking oil (I use this). Sprinkle generously with sea salt and black pepper and toss to coat.
Heat a grill over medium-high heat (this is the compact one we use). Arrange the tomatillos, onions, and peppers and grill until dark char marks appear. Remove the tomatillos and onions and leave the peppers on the grill to char further. You want them to be blistered and nearly black on all sides (you won’t be able to remove the skins unless you take the time to do this). Set the peppers aside to cool.
Add the tomatillos, onions, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, extra virgin olive oil, honey, and cumin to the bowl of a large food processor. Process until smooth. When the peppers are cool enough to touch, scrape the charred skins off and remove the stem. Optionally, you can remove the seeds. If you add them into the salsa, you’ll have a more spicy result.
Add the de-skinned peppers into the food processor and process until until smooth. Taste and add sea salt and black pepper to your personal taste (I used the ½ tsp. sea salt and ¼ tsp. black pepper, as listed).
Note: if you don’t have a grill (get one!), you can use your oven to roast the vegetables. You’ll need a really high heat, around 425F. It’s important you don’t crowd the vegetables — use 2 sheet pans if needed — or it will take a really long time for them to brown. Keep an eye on them, you’ll know they’re done when they appear charred like the images above. To finish off the peppers, turn the broiler on and rotate the peppers until fully blackened (definitely don’t walk away from the oven while this happens).