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Salsa Verde (with Potatoes)

Salsa Verde (with Potatoes)

Salsa verde is a foundational sauce for enchiladas, tacos, guisados (stews), eggs and pork dishes.  This recipe is served as a side dish. The tomatillo and tomato are fruits from the same botanical family, you might say they are close cousins.  It’s documented that tomatillo was more dominant in it’s cultivation and use in Mexico prior to the Spanish conquest so It’s believed the red tomato became more popular by the Europeans. The tomato originates from the valleys of the Andes but and was cultivated by the Mayans and Mexicas (aztecas) of Mexico.  The Mexicas knew it as xictomatl, fruit with a belly button. Because of that Aztec word “tomatl” the Spanish conquerors called it “tomato”.  In Spanish, tomatillo means “little tomato”.

Tomatillos lend themselves to a variety of cooking methods such as roasting, sautéing and stewing. Cooking softens the acidity and brings out the sweetness in the fruit but they can be enjoyed raw. Two recipes in my blog use raw tomatillo; Chile Relleno using Pasilla Pods and Cotija Tostada Appetizer. In this recipe I will cook the tomatillos.  Let’s get started.




Serves 2

1 lb tomatillos, remove husks then wash the fruit

¾ lb of small potatoes Optional: peeled

¼  medium white onion whole piece

1 cloves of garlic peeled

1 – 2 serrano or jalapeno chiles. Optional: remove inner chile pulp to reduce hotness

1 handful of cilantro

½ teaspoon salt




Boil water in a 2 quart sauce pan and then simmer the potatoes for 7-10 minutes or until tender.   Remove  and set aside the potatoes.  Boil water in  2 quart pan cook the chiles, onion and garlic for 10 minutes. Add tomatillos and continue cooking until tomatillos turn into a slightly yellow color. Remove and cool ingredients.



In a blender, liquify one chile, onion, garlic, salt and 1/3 of the tomatillos with ½ cup water.  Taste the sauce for chile heat then decide if you want to add a second. Remove the ingredients to a receptacle. Pulse the remaining tomatillos and cilantro in the blender into a chunkier sauce  with 1 cup of water.  Combine the thin and thicker sauces and potato a in a sauce pan simmer for 10 minutes.  Adjust salt to taste.  Plate in a pasta bowl and serve with corn tortillas.




Can be served as a side dish or serve as a light dinner or breakfast plate by topping with a poached egg.


Buen Provecho

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  1. Question: When buying tomatillos, some are hard and green and some are softer and look riper. Does it make a difference?

    Thank you so much.

    • Use this measure: Hard vs Firm. The hard tomatillos are the most tart and acidic. I like those when I include fresh chopped tomatillos in recipes for the citric flavor. When buying fresh tomatillos, choose small and firm. with their husks intact. Fruits should be green, not yellow, which is the color they turn as they ripen. The slightly yellow and light green will be sweeter. My preferred method for cooking tomatillos is to simmer in water until they just turn yellow. If you have the time, roasting does give them a special flavor. Here’s link that give a good overview.

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