This recipe for salsa verde from Colombian-born food writer and intrepid traveller Mary Luz Mejia is smooth and mellow but has a good kick that makes tacos sparkle.
“I find that roasting the tomatillo, chili, onion and garlic first adds a wonderful layer of flavour rather than blending the ingredients with water as some recipes call for,” she says.
The recipe originally used a comal, a traditional Mexican pan used to blister vegetables, but a hot oven achieves similar results.
Serve with tacos, enchiladas, fresh tortilla chips or as a condiment for grilled fish or chicken.
1 pound (500 grams) tomatillos, paper covering removed
1 small jalapeno or green serrano pepper, deseeded and deveined (if you want less heat), cut in half lengthwise
1 small white onion, quartered
2 garlic cloves, skin on
1 tablespoon lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste
1 avocado, chopped
¼ cup chopped cilantro leaves
Preheat oven to 450 F.
Place tomatillos and chili pepper on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes, or until bottoms are blistered.
Turn over tomatillos and chili pepper, and add onion and garlic to baking sheet. Turn tomatillos once more or until all sides are blistered, about 15 minutes. If an ingredient looks ready, remove from oven and set aside. Chop up chili, onion and garlic. Reserve.
Place tomatillos, lime juice and salt in a food processor. Pulse until desired consistency is reached. Transfer to bowl and add chopped vegetables.
Season well with salt and pepper. Chop avocado and add with cilantro just before serving.