Last Gasps of Summer Produce

Tomatillos. Photo credit: Zachary D Lyon.

Tomatillos. Photo credit: Zachary D Lyon.

So far, this autumn has been mild, which means there are summery holdouts that keep on giving, namely tomatillos and peppers. Here's your chance to get one last fix before the first frost. And if you've never had the pleasure, the salsa, below, is an easy way to get acquainted. The house will smell great with all that roasting, and you'll be rich with game-time salsa that will kick the supermarket version to the curb. Let's do this!

P.S. Vendors with the goods: Talk to Alvarez, Magana and Growing Washington, for starters.

Tomatillo Salsa
Loosely adapted from Well-Preserved by Eugenia Bone

  • 2 pounds tomatillos
  • 2 medium/mild chile peppers (think Poblano or Joe E. Parker/Anaheim)
  • 1 jalapeno chile pepper
  • 2 cups chopped onion (not quite 1 large onion)
  • 2 or 3 cloves garlic, depending on size, chopped
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons salt
  • Juice of 1 lemon or lime

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the husks of the tomatillos and wash the tomatillos to remove any stick sap. Place on a cookie sheet, along with the chile peppers, left whole. Roast until the tomatillos are about to burst, about 30 minutes. The peppers may need about 10 minutes longer. 

Place the peppers in a bowl and cover with a kitchen towel, allowing them to cool and steam to encourage the already loosened skins. When the peppers are cool enough to touch, remove the skins, using a paring knife to help. Then remove the seeds, chop in small pieces.
Remove the core from the tomatillos, and place them, along with the chopped peppers, onions, in a stand blender or food processor. Blend until the onions are smaller but still visible. You want a little bit of texture.

Pour the mixture into a medium saucepan, with 1 teaspoon of the salt, and bring to a gentle boil -- you're looking for small bubbles only. Add the citrus, and cook at a simmer until the sauce thickens. Taste for salt and citrus, and add more as you see fit.  Cool and eat at room temperature just in time for the game, or store in 2 pint jars in the refrigerator, where it will keep for up to 1 week. (Enchiladas, anyone?)