I came home from my luxuriously lazy weekend with a present from Sasha’s mother. About 4 lbs. worth of presents, to be exact. Tomatillos fresh from her garden in Vermont. They’ve been sitting on my table for a few days now, while I pondered their culinary existence.
At Eleven Madison Park, I used to have to slice tomatillos into rounds, punch out even smaller rounds, flour them, egg wash them, bread them in pine nut rounds (imagine having to slice about 2 cups worth of pine nuts every day, each nut cut into about 4 slices, leaving you with perfect circles. ugh!!!!), and then finish with a light dusting of panko. Beautiful to look at but an incredibly time consuming endeavor. No, today there shall be no pine nut-encrusted pan seared tomatillos!
I took the easy way out and made salsa verde. Sasha’s mother recommended boiling the tomatillos for ten minutes, or until tender. I decided to grill them instead (my roommate walked into a house filled with smoke and panicked. Be sure to adequately ventilate!). The result was smokey–both house and salsa–and super tasty. So here is a quick and simple recipe in case you have a few tomatillos laying around your house. And if you don’t, I suggest you go to the store while they are still in season!
This is a rough recipe and everything can and should be adjusted according to your taste. This is how I like:
4lbs. ripe tomatillos (a good indicator is when the lantern-like skin can easily be pulled away)
3-5 jalapenos (or serrano chilis for more heat)
1 1/2 cup rough chopped cilantro
2-3 limes, juiced
1/2 cup water
salt pepper to taste
After derobing all the tomatillos of their paper skins, toss with the jalapenos and coat with olive oil, cracked black pepper and salt. Get a grill pan smoking hot (about 10 minutes) and then cook off the tomatillos and jalapenos. Once fully grilled and soft, remove from pan and put in blender. Add cilantro, lime juice, water and salt. Do not blend until completely smooth. I think this salsa is nice with some texture. Adjust seasoning and then cool in refrigerator. Pour over enchiladas, tacos or anything else that would benefit from being bathed in this delicious sauce!