Friday recipe: hot enough for you?

July 29, 2011 —

I credit the ulcer my dad had when I was a kid with my fierce love for hot, spicy food: His condition kept our meals on the bland side, so when I discovered jalapenos, Tabasco, Sriracha sauce, etc., etc., etc., I was addicted. Salsas, curries, kim chee – you name it, if it’s got some fire, I’m in love.

One of my favorite spicy condiments, tomatillo salsa, or salsa verde, is also surprisingly refreshing. Tomatillos – available at most local grocery stores and Mexican markets – are the bright green fruits of a plant of the nightshade family. They’re simply sublime when cooked into a salsa, delicious with fish, in wraps, as a dip or straight from the spoon.

You can't go wrong when you go green.

Salsa verde

  • 1 pound tomatillos, husked
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 jalapeno or serrano chile pepper, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Place tomatillos, onion, garlic and minced pepper into a saucepan. Season with cilantro, oregano, cumin and salt; add water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until the tomatillos are soft, 10 to 15 minutes.

In a blender or food processor, puree the tomatillo mixture and lime juice in batches until smooth.


Endlessly curious and easily entertained, Barb Dietrich Boose loves being a member of the friendly, fascinating DMU community and its creative communications team. The University's publications director and DMU Magazine editor, Barb is always on the hunt for story ideas, good books and new recipes to try out on her family, such as her surprisingly tasty pork-and-bean bars.