Tomatillos, often confused with unripe green tomatoes, have a completely unique personality of their own. Both are technically berries, but unlike tomatoes, tomatillos are covered with a thin paper-like husk, and the fruit has a sticky coating underneath the husks. Raw tomatillos can be extremely tart, but cooking them helps mellow the acidity as well as soften the skin, making them perfect for a sauce.
I always like sweetness accompanying any tart flavor, so after some internet research, I decided to use apple as the complementing flavor for tomatillo salsa. This ended up being the perfect amount of sweet, sour, and spicy for me, but feel free to play with the quantities to skew the taste one way or another!
Ingredients: (Makes ~1.5-2 cups)
4 medium tomatillos - remove husks and rinse
1 medium apple (I used the Golden Delicious variety)
4-5 cloves of garlic - minced
1 small onion - roughly chopped (~⅓- ½ cup)
1 small jalapeno pepper - cored and roughly chopped (add more if you prefer a spicier salsa)
1 cup loosely packed cilantro (I used both leaves and stems)
Salt, black pepper to taste
1 tsp olive oil
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a cookie sheet/ baking pan with Aluminum foil.
Chop the tomatillos into quarters. Slice the apple into thick wedges. Place both on the lined baking pan in a single layer and bake in preheated oven for ~20 minutes until slightly browned.
While the tomatillos and apples are baking, prepare remaining ingredients by sauteeing the onions, garlic and jalapeno in olive oil over medium-high heat. Let them cook until you get a good char on the jalapeno and onions.
Add the onion mixture, the cooked tomatillos and apples, cilantro to a food processor and blend to your preferred consistency. Season with salt and pepper. To keep it chunky, you could reserve a couple tablespoons of finely chopped apple.
Store in the refrigerator. Serve with tortilla chips or use in your favorite Mexican recipe!
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