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.
- 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.