'Wicked-Tasty' Tomatillo & Green Olive Salsa

December 17 2008 - 10:29 AM

I don't know about everyone else but I am in some wicked need of a little "brightness" in my food to help ease the transition to winter. On a side note, how is it not officially winter yet?

Nothing says summer to me like salsa–and no salsa screams "bright" more than something tomatillo-based. The recipe I make has some tomatillo, a little red onion, and some manzanilla olives–tangy, some bite, and salty.  On Saturday, I threw a kicking "ugly sweater" party and the following salsa was successfully devoured.

Our friends at Frontera Kitchens (Rick Bayless' retail brand) make something similar. It retails for around $5 or $6 bucks–you can make this yourself pretty cheap if you are near one of the ethnic markets (think Harvest Time in Lincoln Square; Cermak Produce; or Tony's Finer Foods). The salsa is wicked with chips, divine over some goat cheese enchies, and tangy enough for some great turkey tacos (you do have some leftover turkey in the freezer, right?)

 Happy dipping. 

Tangy Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

Food You Need
A. 1 lb Tomatillos–pull of the husk and rinse 'em well
B. 4 Serrano Peppers–destem 'em, but don't cut them yet
C. 1 small onion (white will be mild, yellow will add some sweetness, red will give it a bite)–slice into rings about 1/4" or so thick
D. 2 Garlic Cloves–peeled
E. Jar of Manzanilla Olives–usually an 8-oz-tall-skinny jar
F. Some water
G. 1 bunch Cilantro–you will need between 1/3 c and 1/2 c
H. 1 tsp Salt

What To Do With What Ya Got
1. Roast A and B in the broiler until dark spots form on the top of A. Then turn and do the same thing on the other side (about 5 minutes per side).
2. In a pan over medium heat, place C and D. Pan-roast until C is kinda translucent and D is soft and turning brownish–but don't let it get black. 
3. After they have cooled, slice B in half lengthwise and remove seeds. If you want it spicier, leave some in. 
4. Toss A, B, C, and D into food processor and puree. Use a blender if you don't have a food processor. 
5. Add about half of the E and some of the juice. Taste–add more olives until it really nails your tongue with pleasure. I usually like the whole jar in there with about half of the juice. 
6. Add F only if you think the salsa is too thick–thickness is subjective, so I'll let you decide. 
7. Add G and continue pureeing. 
8. Add H as needed. This salsa should really dance on your tongue–so don't be scared of salting–but don't overdue it or you will need to roast some more tomatillos to bring down the saltiness. 

Now What?
-pour in bowl, dip some chips
-top enchiladas, burritos, tacos with it; tomatillos are good buds with turkey, chicken, pork, and creamy cheeses
-add to some guac for an interesting kick; it also lowers the fat content of the guac while kicking up the volume
-I made a really wicked tasty turkey chili with this as and some veg broth as the base

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