Roasting brings out deep, intense flavors in the tomatillos, jalapenos, garlic, and onions. Fresh lime juice and cilantro add brightness. Perfect for your next football party!
Tomatillos are little green vegetables with an odd papery husk. Broiling them with most of the other ingredients brings out their sweetness, producing a salsa with layers of rich flavor. Many salsa recipes call for raw onions, which I find too strong, so I tossed the onion into the roasting pan with the other veggies. Perfect!
Roasted Tomatillo and Avocado Salsa
Makes about 2 cups
10 oz (290 g) tomatillos
4 (50 g) jalapenos
1/2 (90-100 g) white onion
3 (30 g) fat cloves of garlic
1 (75 g) lime
1 bunch (65 g) cilantro (a.k.a. fresh coriander)
1 t. (2 g) cumin
1/2 t. (2 g) sea salt
1/4 t. (1 ml) liquid smoke
1 t. (5 ml) tequila
1 ripe avocado (optional)
Turn on the broiler to high and move the rack to its highest position under the broiler. Lightly spray or oil a heat-proof dish.
Prep the tomatillos by removing the papery husks and washing them to remove the sticky coating. Wash the jalapenos. Remove any loose papery bits from the garlic cloves and the onion.
Put the tomatillos, jalapenos, onion, and garlic cloves (all whole) into the pan and put under the broiler. Set the timer for 5 minutes.
Wash the cilantro bunch and roll up in a clean towel after shaking most of the water out of it.
Juice the lime and add to your blender jar.
Check the vegetables after 5 minutes and remove any garlic cloves that look brown. Put back under the broiler and set the timer for another 5 minutes.
Check the veggies again. After 10 minutes, the tomatillos should be starting to brown, and the peppers might be blackened on the top. Flip everything over and return to the broiler for another 5 minutes.
Remove the garlic cloves and tomatillos and allow to cool. Put the peppers into a paper bag and roll down the top. This steams the peppers so the skins are easy to remove. (You can leave the skins on, but you’ll find little hard bits of skin in the salsa, which are not ideal.)
If the onion does not look cooked enough, return it to the pan and place under the broiler for another 5 minutes. Let cool.
Chop the onion and add it to the blender with the tomatillos.
Squeeze out the garlic centers into the blender; discard the papery husks. Add the cumin, liquid smoke, salt, and tequila to the blender.
Roughly chop most of the cilantro, reserving about 1/4 C. (a large handful). Add the chopped cilantro to the blender. Finely mince the rest of the cilantro.
Blend until smooth and pour into a bowl.
Remove the skins and tops from the peppers and cut in half. Taste to see how hot they are. If they are mild, you can add the entire pepper to the mixture. If they are already pretty hot, remove the seeds and ribs. Mince finely and stir into the bowl. [Note: if you are using green jalapenos, just add them to the blender.]
Cube the avocado and add it to the bowl with the remaining cilantro, stirring gently. Serve with chips.
Notes: Omit the salt for low-sodium diets. For weight-loss, omit the avocado or use less avocado. (Avocado is full of healthy fats, but is nutrient dense.)