Tomatillos are one of the fruits we’ve always managed to grow in our summer garden, and we wait excitedly for each year’s harvest, freezing excess salsa base for the winter months ahead.
- 1 kg tomatillos (see Note)
- 5 large garlic cloves, peeled
- 4 long red chillies
- 1 bunch coriander, leaves and stems chopped
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Preheat oven to 210°C. Roast the tomatillos for 15 minutes or until starting to blacken and blister. They should be falling to bits. Drain off excess juice, reserving 2 tbsp for the salsa, and use the excess in your black beans, if you like. It’s really good.
In a separate pan, roast the garlic and chillies for 15 minutes or until blackened. (Take care not to darken the garlic too much as it will go acrid. The chillies can get quite a good dark colour without a problem, though it’s optional whether you peel the charred skin off the chillies or not.)
Place the tomatillo pulp and reserved juice, chillies, garlic and salt in a food processor and pulse until fairly smooth but still a little bit chunky. (If you want to freeze the tomatillo salsa base for later, do that now.)
Stir through the coriander and chopped onion, and serve.
• Fresh tomatillos are available from selected greengrocers, but they can be difficult to track down. Substitute canned tomatillos, lightly drained, available from Monterey Mexican Foods (montereyfoods.com.au), Fireworks Foods (fireworksfoods.com.au) and selected delis.
Photography by Alan Benson.