Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Canning Tomatillo Salsa (Salsa Verde)

I haven't made this salsa for a few years, and I had been planning to make it this year with my own tomatillos, but alas! We had a crop failure. Yes, I know! Tomatillos! How embarrassing. They have a well-deserved reputation of being pretty nearly weeds. However, they did not take to our soil or our drought, and then they caught whatever virus has been romping through our chile plants, and in the end we got a handful or two of tomatillos before we gave up and pulled them out to make way for garlic.

However, there was a request for this recipe on the Canning Salsa comments, so here it is. I haven't made the other salsa with tomatillos, but a little research suggests that so far as acidity goes, they are interchangeable and so could be used in the other recipe in place of the tomatoes. How it would turn out, I don't know. Maybe I'll find out next year, when my tomatillos are going to grow, dammit.

Jalapenos are not the traditional pepper to use in green salsa - a serrano, Anaheim or New Mexico chile would be more traditional, but I've never seen anyone growing those commercially in Ontario. Tomatillos are also next to impossible to find, but unlike the chiles of the southwest, they grow here readily (hem, hem) and the seed is easy to find for home gardeners.

7 x 500-ml jars
1 hour 15 minutes - 1 hour prep time

Tomatillo Salsa
2 kilos (4.5 pounds) tomatillos
4 cups chopped onions
2 heads garlic
450 grams (1 pound) JalapeƱo (or other) peppers
2 tablespoons pickling salt
1 cup minced cilantro
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons lime juice PER JAR

Put the jars into a canner with water to cover. Bring to a boil and boil them for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel the husks from the tomatillos and wash them. Cut any large ones in half. Peel the garlic. Remove the stems and seeds from the jalapenos. Chop all the ingredients except the water and lime juice in a food processor, 1/2 at a time, but leave some texture to them. Remove them to a large pot or canning kettle. Rinse the food processor out with the water, and add it to the salsa.

Heat the salsa to boiling in a large pot or canning kettle. Put the lime juice into the sterilized jars. Fill them with the salsa and seal. Return the jars to the boiling water for 20 minutes. Let cool, check the seals and label.


TheSweetOne said...

I'd be happy to trade - I can never get tomatoes to grow en mass without dying from something, but tomatillos I never run out of... 12 lbs so far this year and counting from 3 plants and the stragglers that self seeded from last year.

A great variation for the salsa is to roast the dehusked tomatillos in the oven until they start to char. You'll need a bit more by weight to fill the recipe but the chefs at Bernardin okayed it when I called them a couple years ago. It's perfect for enchilladas and gives a wonderful smoky flavour.

Lisa said...

Any idea where I can get tomatillos in the Hamilton-Niagara area? thanks so much

TheSweetOne said...

Hi Lisa

Not sure where you can get fresh ones this year but if you want to grow your own next year, Eisings in Waterford (Norfolk County, your side of Simcoe) usually grows some seedlings for the Mexican summer workers. The plants are tall and spindly but that's the way they grow. If you want to start from seed, give me a shout and I'll mail you some...

kellymseow said...

I made this today - thanks so much for the recipe! I adore tomatillos and am thrilled to have a canning recipe for the salsa.