Cinco de Mayo is my favorite food holiday of the year. Perhaps it’s because I’m obsessed with Mexican food (who isn’t?!), or because it’s finally tank top and margarita weather, or because May 5th is my wedding anniversary. (Have you made these Coconut-Lime Mexican Wedding Cookies? What are you waiting for?) No matter, it’s just a happy, delicious day. I know there are enough Mexican recipes on my blog to keep us well-fed all year long, but I couldn’t resist adding this roasted salsa verde to the mix. Made from tomatillos, it’s tangy, fiery, chunky, smoky — and 100% good enough to eat with a spoon. What’s more, there are endless ways to use it: serve it with tortilla chips; use it as enchilada, quesadilla or taco sauce; or drizzle it over steak, rice, potatoes or eggs. You can’t go wrong!
If you’re unfamiliar with tomatillos, they look like small green tomatoes covered by a papery husk. They’re related to tomatoes, but have a distinctive tart flavor. (Note that they are not the same as green tomatoes, which are simply unripe tomatoes.) You can find them in most grocery stores. Before using them, remove the papery husk. You’ll notice that they have a sticky substance on the surface — just rinse them under water and it will come right off.
To begin, place the tomatillos, onions, garlic, jalapeño pepper and oil directly on the prepared baking sheet and toss with your hands or a rubber spatula. Broil until softened and charred, 10-12 minutes.
Transfer the vegetables and juices to a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Add the salt, cumin, sugar, and cilantro.
Pulse until chunky, then taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
Transfer the salsa to a bowl and serve warm, at room temperature, or slightly chilled.
My Recipe Videos
- 1-1/4 lbs tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and quartered
- 2 small yellow onions, cut into 1-inch wedges
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 jalapeño pepper, left whole (or remove the ribs and seeds for a mild salsa)
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon sugar
- 3/4 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, plus a bit more for serving
- Set an oven rack about 5 inches beneath the heating element and preheat the broiler. Line a rimmed baking sheet with heavy-duty aluminum foil.
- Place the tomatillos, onions, garlic, jalapeño pepper and oil directly on the prepared baking sheet and toss with your hands or a rubber spatula. Broil until softened and slightly charred, 10-12 minutes.
- Transfer the vegetables and juices to a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Add the salt, cumin, sugar, and cilantro and pulse until chunky. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Transfer to a bowl and sprinkle with chopped cilantro if desired. Serve the salsa warm, at room temperature, or slightly chilled.
- Note: This recipe is not meant for canning.
- Make Ahead: The salsa can be made up to 3 days ahead of time and stored in a covered container in the refrigerator.
- Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The salsa can be frozen in an airtight for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight before serving. (Some of the liquid may separate out when it’s defrosted, or it might get a bit watery, but you can correct that by reheating it.)