tomatillos


We were recovering today from yesterday’s late night — a wedding in Kincardine. Lots of fun, lots of wine, short sleep.

Fool that I am, I was seriously overly ambitious in the kitchen this aft and it reached a point where I didn’t want to be there anymore. This is typical of me — I’m excellent at biting off more than I can chew. But the investment of time meant there are good eats to be had. So there’s that.

I was excited to see the bag of tomatillos in the bag this week. Not something most of us have in the kitchen on the regular and not the kind of thing we see in the big grocery stores, where they have everything. A bit special, I’d say.

I managed to get my hands on a couple of pounds elsewhere and, together with the pound from the Loft bag, they were the fixings for a batch of salsa. Got about six jars out of it, which I canned. We’ll enjoy that this winter.

salsa jars

The recipe I used comes from The Complete Book of Small Batch Preserving by Ellie Topp and Margaret Howard, a book that I adore and use often. This recipe makes only two cups, not enough to really worry about canning. (I quadrupled it to make my big pot).

I used my food processor to do most of the chopping, by the way — a brainwave I had after reading this love letter to the appliance by New York Times’ food writer Mark Bittman. Made for much lighter work, in case that inspires you to dust yours off.

Tomatillo Mexican Salsa

1/2 lb tomatillos
2 hot green chile peppers, seeded and chopped (jalapenos will do nicely)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup sweet red pepper, chopped
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup carrot, chopped
1/4 cup apple juice
1/4 cup cider vinegar
3/4 tsp pickling salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp granulated sugar

1. Remove husks from tomatillos and discard. Wash and coarsely chop in food processor or by hand. Transfer to a medium stainless steel or enamel saucepan; add chiles, garlic, red pepper, onion, carrot, apple juice, vinegar, salt, cumin and oregano. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat, cover and boil gently for 10 minutes.

2. Stir in sugar, return to a boil and boil gently, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until mixture is thickened. Remove from heat.

3. If you’re making a bigger batch and wish to can, remove hot jars from canner and ladle salsa into jars within 1/2 inch of rim. Process 20 minutes for half-pint jars.

salsa bowl

– Dinah Murdoch lives, eats and writes in Kitchener.