Tomatillos are magic. Hard, astringent green globes wrapped modestly in papery husks, they don’t really seem like food – until they’re roasted. Then their tart firm flesh is transmuted into something altogether different: silky, complex with a sweetly umami tang. I roasted these tomatillos and added finely chopped onions, cilantro and a pinch of salt for a simple and satisfying salsa verde.

Salsa Verde

Two pounds tomatillos

1 small bunch cilantro

1 small onion

1 garlic clove

1 jalapeno (optional)

Kosher salt

Remove tomatillos from husks, cut in half, and place them face-down on a lightly oiled cookie sheet; roast in the upper third of the oven at 400 degrees until they are soft and lightly charred (15-20 minutes). Set aside. Finely chop the onion, garlic, cilantro and jalapeno, if using. Blend tomatillos in a food processor until they reach the desired consistency (you can make it smooth or leave it chunky, depending on your preference). Stir in the other ingredients and salt to taste. Makes about 1 quart.

Notes: tomatillos should be firm and green to yellow-green.


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