A simple and lip smacking sauce from our hombres in Mexico. Salsa Verde is so fresh tasting, especially when lathered on a street taco in Mexico City. Viva la verde! Summer is on the way, we need to get these recipes gathered and prepared. Here comes the sun……….
With a fridge full of amazing green herbs and lemons all around, making this was a real no-brainer. I have played around with the spices here, but I think it adds even more punch and flavour to the sauce.
I was first introduced to this incredible, tangy number in a Mexican street stall lathered all over a street taco with lashings of raw chillis (normally after a few late night tequilas). The art of a good taco is in the balance of all the ingredients, but for me the salsa verde was always the most interesting component. How do they fit so much POW (followed instantly by a TWANG) into a sauce?! Later I found out and have been making variations ever since, normally potent concoctions with herbs, citrus and chilli as the core (and of course the essential tomatillos (green tomatoes).
The Verde is a super healthy affair also, making your own sauces cuts out the middle man, who usually enjoys adding scary sounding chemicals to sauces and no doubt bags of white sugar and other baddies.
This salsa is easily prepared and you may want to chop up your garlic, lemon rind etc depending on the potency of your food processor. We think its best to mash it all up in a pestle and mortar (and hope you have time for this). Here in Spain, our blender/f.p. is more of a smoothie maker and woefully under powered for the umph a salsa verde needs, you should be left with a vivid green sauce, all the bits well blended and together, mingling and sharing.
Due to the tomatoes, salsa verde doesn’t hang around to long in the fridge, its best eaten fresh poured over roasted veggies or in sandwiches/ tacos/ enchiladas/ burritos etc and we also use it in cooking as a sauce. Salsa Verde will also grace any pasta, I wonder if they’ve thought of it in Italy yet!?
Tomatillos can be a little hard to get hold of outside Mexico, other green tomatoes work almost as well.
Makes one decent size tubful
4 large green tomatoes/ tomatillos, 1 tbsp capers, 1 ½ big handfuls of fresh coriander, 1 of parsley, 1 of mint, 1 teas roasted fennel seeds, 1 teas roasted coriander seeds, 1 teas ground coriander, 2 fresh red chillis (jalapeno? Gauge how hot you like it), 3 cloves of garlic, 2 lemons (juice and zest), 150ml olive oil, hefty pinch of sea salt
Pop all the ingredients in a food processor and whizz away until deep green and extremely tasty. Or if you lead a life of leisure and want to do it properly, add garlic, seeds, capers, chilli and lemon zest to you pestle and mortar, add a little oil and get mashing! Add this potent paste to your food processor with the other ingredients and blitz for 2 minutes.
Its very easy to just ladle this straight into your mouth! We would however recommend it mixed in with roasted veggies and will zing up any rice dish. Use it as a sauce and revel in the goodness. Jane and I would also have it thinned out a little, as the perfect dressing for a lively salad.
We Love It!
There is nothing like the bite and zing of a salsa verde, citrus and herbaceous with hints of spice. It’s really, very healthy too. The only sauce for a spring barbecue and salad session. Why not start early this year!
All those green leaf herbs are superbly good for you, packed with anti-oxidants. Tomatillos were originally cultivated by the Aztecs and contain more minerals than your average red tomato.
The only soundtrack to salsa making, Santa Esmeralda – ‘Please don’t let me be misunderstood’ (bad miming and all!)