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Salsa Verde (roast the tomatillos or not?)

GDSinPA Aug 30, 2007 12:22 PM

I'm making some salsas for a large gathering (like 50 people).

I've only made Tomatillo salsa once or twice. But I've noticed some recipes call for roasting and others do not. It's a little bit more trouble to roast, but not the end of the world. Still if the yum factor is not that big, I'd just rather save the time.

Will I get considerably more flavor from the roasting? Is it worth the trouble?

I also have a concern the the last roasted salsa I made just didn't taste quite as good with chips as it did as a sauce for fish or chicken or whatever. But, that was not salsa verde, it was chirmol.

Heck, if anyone wants to post good salsa verde recipe that would be fine also.

I await your chow-able advice.


  1. d
    Dave1201 Apr 16, 2008 05:44 AM


    3 Replies
    1. re: Dave1201
      janeh Sep 20, 2010 10:08 PM

      I roast the tomatillos, jalapeños, quartered onions and unpeeled garlic at 350 until the tomatillos are soft. When cooled, the garlic gets peeled and everything gets whirred in the food processor with some cilantro and a little salt.

      1. re: janeh
        dcrf Sep 21, 2010 07:38 AM

        I agree with janeh.I make mine the exact same way.I like the smokey flavour roasting adds.Also I sometimes blend a couple of avocados in at the end.This adds a nice slightly creamy texture to the sauce.

        1. re: dcrf
          janeh Sep 21, 2010 10:55 AM

          Wow..,,I like the idea of adding avocados to finish. My next batch will include an avocado or two. Thanks for the great suggestion.

    2. kare_raisu Sep 6, 2007 03:14 PM

      I always pan roast them....I have read recipes for boiling - has anyone tried this? boring?

      2 Replies
      1. re: kare_raisu
        foxy fairy Sep 10, 2007 08:12 AM

        Grilling! I tried this a few months ago (see link below) and I was quite pleased with the resulting sweetness. I halved them and grilled them with a little red onion and shallot. Then, blended with cilantro, lime juice, jalapeno, sugar, salt. Even yummier the next day. Mmmmmm. Yay for tomatillos!

        1. re: kare_raisu
          ballulah Sep 10, 2007 08:35 AM

          Actually, my favorite little taqueria gave me their recipe and they are boiled, but it's more of a poaching process. You add whole tomatillos, jalapenos, an onion and some garlic to a pot and barely cover them halfway with water...after poaching until the tomatillos are just soft (which takes no time at all) zip them in a food processor with some cilantro and maybe a little lime juice. I like both roasting and poaching, depends what flavor I'm in the mood for. Roasting produces a much sweeter, nuttier salsa; poaching produces a more traditional bright green (both flavor and color) salsa.

        2. g
          GDSinPA Sep 6, 2007 09:24 AM

          So, I made the "Salsa Verde" last night and decided to gently roast the tomatillos at about 350 for 10 minutes, rather than char them as some recipes suggest.

          Oh my, the smell was amazing - I had never roasted them in any recipe before. I didn't need too much lime or salt actually - the salsa is mostly tomatillos and jalapenos. Oh so tasty indeed.

          Roasting was definitely the way to go!
          Thanks for the advice.

          3 Replies
          1. re: GDSinPA
            KaimukiMan Sep 6, 2007 12:13 PM

            could you share your recipie?

            1. re: KaimukiMan
              GDSinPA Sep 10, 2007 05:24 AM

              I started with Rick Bayless' recipe, and the advice received here on chowhound.


              Since I was making a huge batch, I really didn't follow a recipe per se. I roasted the tomatillos in the oven as I describe and when they just about cooled, I threw tthem in the food processor. Then I tossed in a bunch of jalapenos, chopped white onion, and a little cilantro.

              I probably used about 30 tomatillos and 15 jalapenos, which turned out to be a tasty ratio. I also eased back on the salt and cilantro - once I started tasting, it really didn't seam like it needed much else.

              1. re: GDSinPA
                Wooshtastic Sep 20, 2010 08:53 PM

                I've been looking for some good salsa ver de recipes since we grew our first tomatillo plants this year. We've had pounds and pounds of them! and I have to say, this was a great, simple way to prepare them. I've tried raw versions, but this just bowled them over.

          2. Melanie Wong Aug 30, 2007 12:29 PM

            Depends on the type of flavor you want. Unroasted, you'll get more of the zippy, acidic tang. If you have the tiny tomatillos (ground cherries), then you can get away with not roasting, as they're more intense in flavor and not as watery. Otherwise, i say roast them if you're looking for more depth and the smoky nuance of the charred skin. You can do a dozen or mroe at a time quite easily in a big skillet on the stove top.

            Here's my summer salsa verde recipe, an uncooked version for light, clean flavors -

            2 Replies
            1. re: Melanie Wong
              jules127 Aug 30, 2007 12:31 PM

              I agree, it depends on the flavor you're shooting for. My personal preference is unroasted, but that doesn't mean I would ever turn down a roasted version. I love the zippiness of it.

              1. re: jules127
                Melanie Wong Aug 30, 2007 12:33 PM

                Yes, if you don't feel like paying for fresh limes, make an uncooked tomatillo salsa. No additional acidity needed.

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