A Tomatillo First Here On Glen Road

This is a group of tomatillos that we bought on Sunday.  We have never cooked anything here on Glen Road that contained tomatillos.  Why the sudden change of heart?  On Sunday, we went to the market and we were going to buy some green salsa.  For some reason, we turned the bottle around to read the label and we were shocked at how many ingredients were in it that we couldn’t pronounce.  Then at the farmers’ market, a woman told us tomatillos are great right now and so we bought some.  We went home to make our own green salsa and we are glad we did.

Tomatillos are small green-tomato look-alikes encased in paper-thin husks.  Tomatillos are only distantly related to true tomatoes.  Raw ones have a distinctive tangy citrus flavor that is great in salsas.  They are also great roasted until soft and then pureed.  Good ones have taut husks and lime green skin underneath.  You can refrigerate them in a paper bag up to 1 week.  When ready to use, peel away the husks and rinse any sticky residue off before using.

We decided on a classic roasted green salsa to serve with tortilla chips.  The roasting effect gave the salsa a deep, slightly smoky flavor.  All ingredients are roasted under the broiler until they are a little blistered and the vegetables become somewhat soft.  The vegetables become soft depending on their size–small vegetables are first and the tomatillos and onions are last.  As you take soft vegetables out from underneath the broiler, place them directly into the bowl of a food processor while the other vegetables continue to broil.  Our salsa definitely had a little heat to it.  If you prefer less heat, use fewer jalapenos or remove the ribs and seeds from the ones that you do use.


  • 1 1/2 pounds of tomatillos, husks and stems removed
  • 1 medium white onion, halved
  • 3 japapenos, stems removed
  • 4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1/4 cup Italian flat parsley (you can use cilantro if you prefer)
  • Coarse salt and ground black pepper


Heat broiler with rack in the top position.  Place all vegetables (except parsley) in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.

Broil until vegetables are blistered and slightly softened.  Rotate the sheet often and flip vegetables frequently.  Vegetables will become soft depending on their size from 8 to 15 minutes.  Take them out as they become soft.

Discard garlic skins.  In a food processor, pulse garlic and vegetables until coarsely pureed.  Season with coarse salt and ground pepper and pulse to combine.  Transfer salsa to a bowl and stir in 1/4 cup chopped parsley.

Refrigerate until cool and serve.  Salsa can be kept into the refrigerator up to 3 days or 3 months if frozen.

What a treat our roasted green salsa was and, better yet, there was nothing but natural ingredients in it.  If you serve salsa like this, a margarita cannot be far away.  It’s the perfect start to a Summer dinner party.  The next day, remember to use your left over green salsa over a grilled chicken breast or use it in place of ketchup over a burger.  There are tons of ways to use a fresh Summer salsa if you think about it.  So bring a tomatillo home this Summer and enjoy!  Do you have any recipes that use tomatillos that you could share here on Acorns On Glen?

10 thoughts on “A Tomatillo First Here On Glen Road

  1. I don’t have any recipes. But I am grateful for this one! It looks delicious and my son is into salsa. After reading this Mom’s Guide (http://www.1dental.com/moms-guide/), I started taking inventory of what I feed my son – mostly sugar and processed foods & realized I needed to make some changes. I never realized how much “fake” food he was eating. Thanks for the recipe.

    • Hi Joy. Welcome to Acorns On Glen. So interesting about your research….we had the same reaction after reading the salsa bottle. I hope you enjoy the recipe. Let us know how it turns out. Come back and visit soon.

  2. I had never seen or heard of a tomatillo before. It is interesting.

    I like salsa but it has to be very mild. I will say your receipe sound very good.

  3. I make a tomatillo soup, but with this hot weather, I’m liking your salsa recipe much better!! I love that the veggies were roasted first, adds another flavor dimension.

    • Hi. Thanks for your comment and welcome to Acorns On Glen. You will love this salsa. Perfect for the summer. Would love to try your tomatillo soup. You have to post it and let me know when. Come back and visit soon.

  4. I have often made my own salsa with tomatillos or salsa with a mixture of both tomatoes and tomatillos, but I definitely never thought to try it roasted! Thanks for sharing this recipe! I look forward to trying it out soon!

    • Hi Armed with Truth and welcome to Acorns On Glen. Glad you liked the receipe. The roasting gives it a smoky flavor that is really good. Let us know how you liked it. Come back and visit soon.

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