This year we have been experimenting with our grow-your-own garden and have started planting an agroforestry food forest where our front lawn used to be. Often in food forest gardens there’s regularly space the occasional annual plantings rather than solely perennials.
As part of this project we have also tried to grow a variety of weird and wonderful fruit and veg that are not typical in your average U.K veg patch,- hence why we now have tomatillos to use in our version of Mexican style Salsa Verde.
Tomatillos have proven very easy to grow in our climate and the plants have needed very little care over the growing season. Tomatillos are related to tomatoes but seem to acclimatise better, as we have managed to grow them in the ground without the need for a greenhouse or cold frame.
The tomatillos themselves taste like a cross between a tomato (texture) and a green pepper (taste). We have been enjoying them over the last few months in salads and pasta sauces, but this small-batch recipe was created to use up the last remaining tomatillos before the winter really sets in and the plant dies back. Luckily, we still have a few homegrown chillis left and a single coriander plant that is hanging on despite the cold, so this recipe mainly consists of things we have grown ourselves.
(Remember this is a small-batch recipe for 2 people, but quantities can be multiplied if more salsa required)
1 onion diced
1 garlic clove
2 chillis (medium heat) – feel free to use a hotter or milder chilli to your own taste
Handful of coriander – washed
lime/lemon juice (optional)
Bring a small pan of water to the boil and simmer the tomatillos, half the chopped onion, garlic and chillis for approximately 10 minutes until the tomatillos are soft.
Pour away the majority of the water, leaving a tablespoon of liquid in the pan with the cooked ingredients. Add the coriander and use a hand blender or food processor to blend the mixture into a thin soup.
Return the salsa to the pan and add the rest of the onion. Season with salt to taste and add a splash of citrus juice (if required). Allow the onion pieces to soften slightly, then remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Serve with your favourite Mexican foods or Tex Mex dishes, as either a side dish, a dip or poured straight into your taco etc.
This version of Salsa Verde was delicious with enchiladas, but the basic recipe can be altered to suit individual tastes. Salsa can be served chunky if you choose not to blend the ingredients with a food processor. Plus it’s easy to add extra chilli or garlic if you prefer your salsa to have a stronger kick.
We have boiled the ingredients in this recipe, but in Mexico it is also common for tomatillos, garlic, chillis and onion to be roasted or grilled prior to being blended. This should add a richer or smokier flavour to the salsa, so we may experiment with this method in the future.
If you have trouble sourcing tomatillos in your area, you could possibly use green tomatoes or green peppers. We would definitely recommend trying to grow your own though, as they were relatively fuss-free crops. Please find a link below for suppliers who sell seeds for these amazing, flavour-packed and versatile plants.