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Smoky Tomatillo Salsa

At first glance, tomatillos look like tomatoes, but upon closer inspection, they resemble their cousin, the gooseberry.
  • 1 pound tomatillos, husks removed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 2 canned chipolte chiles, finely chopped OR 2 dried chipolte chiles (see below)
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried leaf oregano (preferably Mexican oregano)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Heat the broiler, and cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

With baking sheet 5 to 6 inches from flame, broil the tomatillos for 15 to 18 minutes, turning occasionally. Tomatillos will darken in spots. Remove from broiler, allow to cool, and finely chop.

Warm the olive oil in a skillet. Add the onion and sauté until softened.

In a bowl, combine the onion and tomatillos. Stir in all remaining ingredients.

May be served warm or cold.


Makes about 2 cups.

Recipe editor

Note: If using dried chipolte chiles, remove stems and seeds, place them in a pan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and allow chiles to soak until softened (the skin may still feel papery and tough, but the pulp will be tender).

Process the chiles in a blender or food processor with only enough liquid to make a paste. If you are preparing only a small quantity, you may press the softened chiles through a sieve, rather than use a blender or food processor.

For more salsa recipes, see:
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