Friday, November 7, 2008

Quick Roasted Tomatillo Sauce

Tomatillos weren't on my radar for a very long time. Sure, I'd eaten salsa verde, and indulged in chiles verde at my favorite Mexican haunts. But, I never stopped to think about the little green nightshade veg that made my favorite dishes so very delish.

And then, one unusually dreary spring day, I found them in a seed catalog.
Mexican husk tomato, prolific bushy plant 3-4' tall and across. Green 2" sweet fruits are ripe when the fruits burst through husks. Blended with hot peppers to make traditional Mexican green sauce. 90 days from transplant.

My interest was picqued. I grew four tomatillo plants in my tiny backyard garden that year (and yes, those of you who know how prolific tomatillos tend to be can laugh). And I froze enough tomatillo sauce to last us almost two years.
We were eating tomatillo sauce on everything. Straight from the container as a salsa. Into the crockpot with pork loin. Mixed with roasted poblanos for chiles verde. Over the top of enchiladas. As an accompaniment for fish tacos. In chili. As a sauce for stewed chicken. You name it, we put tomatillo sauce on it. And life was good.

These days, I'm a bit more modest in my tomatillo growing habits (in fact, this year, I had to buy tomatillos from a woman at the farmer's market, since I hadn't planted any). But, I still make tomatillo sauce. And I still think it's one of the best things ever.

This sauce recipe is fairly quick to throw together. If I have time, I like to add a few sauteed onions and a bit of garlic, and give the sauce a bit of time to sear in a hot pan, which I think deepens the flavor and gives everything a bit more time to meld. But, sometimes I'm just looking for the fastest route to dinner, and that's when this recipe serves me well.

Quick Roasted Tomatillo Sauce

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  1. I'd eat that on everything, too. Huevos rancheros for breakfast?

    Dishicap! That's what I had to spell to leave a comment.

  2. Okay I love roasting tomatillos, they are just so great and worth that hour in the oven!

  3. Wait a's that easy?


  4. Stupid Blogger ate my long comment.

    Basically, I've never considered growing tomatillos, but what a good idea!

    The sauce sounds great.

  5. What's the growing season for tomatillos? I'm up in cold, northern Canada, but I'd love to plan for dropping some seeds in when we start up our garden next year. And I love roasted tomatillos!

  6. Dishicap -- nice :) Though not quite as cute as ferfa!

    Cathy - and if you broil them, they don't even take an hour!

    Jinx - yup. that easy. I had no idea until I tried it.

    Aw, Emiline. I hate it when blogger eats comments! You should definitely consider growing tomatillos. They grow like weeds, and the sauce really stores well.

    Hanne -
    We're in Wisconsin, so it's not exactly the warmest climate here. The tomatillos need about 4 months to do their thing. They love the heat, but I've had luck growing them even when the summer is cooler. They don't ripen full here until mid-late September. And we can pick them into October if there's not a freeze. But, they're easy to grow!

  7. Great recipe, I love it when a few ingredients come together to make something sublime.


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