Bold, fresh, and delicious, describe oven-roasted tomatillo salsa, also known as salsa verde or green salsa. The oven roasting enhances the tomatillos and takes this salsa to a whole new fantastic level!
Have you ever had green salsa, also known as salsa verde? Maybe at Qdoba? The chances are that green salsa was made with tomatillos. I love green salsa for its bold flavor; nothing compares to it. This salsa recipe is different because the tomatillos are oven-roasted, intensifying the flavor. So, if you love green salsa, you will love my oven-roasted tomatillo salsa!
What are Tomatillos?
A tomatillo is a small round fruit with a green color and a papery husk. Tomatillos are native to Mexico. In the US, tomatillos are often used in making salsa verde or green salsa.
Tomatillos are sometimes referred to as green tomatoes. It is most likely because of the name, which translates into a bit of tomato, and how similar they look. However, this is incorrect. Tomatillo and tomatoes are not the same fruit. A tomatillo has a tart taste, whereas a tomato is sweet. For more information on tomatillos, click here.
Tomato vs. Tomatillo Salsa
When we hear salsa, the standard image is tomato-based salsa. This type of salsa often includes onions, jalapeños, cilantro, and lime. Once you dig deeper, there are countless variations of salsa, including chipotle, fruit, beans, and vegetables.
Tomatillo salsa has fewer variations and is usually made with tomatillos, green chilies, onions, cilantro, and lime. The tomatillos give this salsa a tangy flavor.
- Garlic mellows and becomes slightly sweet. This complements the tartness of the tomatillos and the sharpness of the jalapenos.
- Fresh Cilantro Leaves are a vibrant flavor that is a classic in Mexican dishes!
- Ground Cumin Is a staple in Mexican cuisine and contributes to the authentic taste of the salsa.
- Jalapeños add mild heat, especially if the seeds have been removed. I like that they balance the flavor while keeping the tomatillos the star of the show!
- Olive Oil Is used to roast the veggies. You can substitute it with your preferred oil.
- Onions, when roasted, add a depth of flavor and a hint of sweetness. They aid in balancing the tartness of the tomatillos.
- Sea Salt is essential for enhancing and balancing the flavors of the salsa.
- Tomatillos are small, green fruits are the heart of tomatillo salsa. They have a tangy flavor that is perfect for people who enjoy sour flavors.
You can store it in an air-tight container in your refrigerator for 3 -5 days. I do not recommend freezing salsa. If you are comfortable with jarring, follow the correct jarring procedures (my disclaimer). Jarred tomatillo salsa should last up to two years. However, we always eat ours within six months, which is good.
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Oven Roasted Tomatillo Salsa
- Baking sheet
- 1 ½ pounds tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed
- 1 medium onion, peeled and cut into long thick strips
- 2 jalapeños
- 6 cloves garlic
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ cup water
- 1 cup cilantro leaves
- Preheat the oven on broiler high. This ensures a quick and even charring of the vegetables, crucial for developing deep flavors.
- Place tomatillos, onion, chiles, and unpeeled garlic on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Drizzling with two tablespoons of olive oil and seasoning with salt helps in even roasting and flavor absorption.
- Broil for about 13–18 minutes until charred and blistered, turning halfway through. This step is key to achieving a smoky depth in the salsa.
- Allow the vegetables to cool, then handle the chiles and garlic. Removing the stems and seeds from the chilies reduces the heat level, while peeling the garlic gets rid of the bitter, burnt skin.
- Blend the roasted vegetables with cumin, salt, water, and remaining olive oil until smooth. The blender creates a creamy, homogenized mixture, highlighting each ingredient’s flavor.
- Add cilantro and pulse a few times. This preserves the cilantro’s freshness and prevents it from becoming too finely processed, maintaining its delightful texture and color.