Sauces and salsas are vital condiments for culinary practices, and the classic salsa verde is a significant staple sauce in almost any Mexican kitchen or home. This “green sauce” is an excellent choice when preparing enchiladas and a perfect topping for carne asada tacos. Being a versatile sauce, it works very well with eggs too. As a matter of fact, bottled salsas have nothing on this homemade salsa.
The entire recipe is healthy as it mainly contains vegetables. It is the best way in which you can have your veggie intake with no guilt. You may find the sauce also being referred to as verde salsa, green salsa, tomatillo salsa or salsa verda. If you are looking for a salsa that will bring out the magic on every food item touched, try the salsa verde.
Variations into making Salsa verde
You can generally prepare Mexican sauces using two different ways. By boiling the ingredients or by roasting them. You can pan or fire roast. Both of these methods will create distinct and unique flavors for the sauce. The boiled variation has a milder flavor, with the vegetables’ taste being distinctive. Roasted sauces have a bold flavor added to them from the charring. The ingredients used are readily available from almost all supermarkets and grocery stores.
Here, we will give you the authentic boiled variation using tomatillos. These are usually small and green tomatoes that have a papery husk. Tomates verdes, or larger green tomatoes can also be used.
- 1 ¼ tomatillos
- 1 large white onion
- 3-4 serrano chiles
- 4 garlic cloves
- 12 cilantro sprigs
- 2tbsp, cooking oil or olive oil
- Salt to taste
- Large pot
- Cutting board
- Kitchen knife
Preparation Method and Cooking Instructions
Preparation time: Approx. 10 minutes
Cook time: Approx. 30 minutes
Total time: Approx. 40 minutes
- Start by removing the tomatillos papery husks and rinse them using warm water to get rid of the sticky residue.
- Cut the onion into quarters.
- Into a large pot, add in the ingredients apart from the cilantro and salt. Cover entirely with water.
- Using medium heat, bring the ingredients and the water to a boil, reduce the heat to low and then allow to simmer for about ten minutes. When the ingredient color changes, this should let you know that they are cooked.
- Now add the ingredient and water mixture to the blender, pulse or blend until smooth for 30 seconds to about a minute. If you have a food processor, you can use it. During blending, do not let the salsa liquify. It will need to have some texture.
- Using the same pot, heat the cooking oil on high heat. Pour in the pureed salsa slowly into the pot. This will give the salsa a richer taste. The secret to the best salsa verde is frying, and this step right here is referred to as “seasoning.” The oil binds everything together for more richness.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes. The salsa darkens when properly cooked.
- Season or add salt to your taste. Serve and enjoy!
Serving Instructions and Suggestions
- Use your salsa verde on tortilla chips, chicken enchiladas, burritos, chilaquiles, pork chops, and any dish that can be paired with a salsa. Go wild!
- Serve this accompaniment cold.
- The salsa can also be served as a condiment for seafood and meats such as chicken and grilled fish. Use salsa verde with roasted vegetables or replace the basil pesto used on pasta with it.
- It is an excellent dip for breadsticks and boiled eggs.
Tricks and pro tips
- If the sauce is too runny, let it simmer until it has reduced to your liking and if it is too thick, gradually add in about 2 tbsp of water until you reach the desired consistency.
- If the sauce is too acidic or too hot, after reducing the heat to low, add in 1-2 tsp sugar, ½ tsp baking soda, and 1-2 tsp of agave syrup.
- Do not seed the serrano chiles if you like your sauce hot. Only seed them if you want to reduce the heat.
- Since chile peppers are made up of volatile oils that can irritate your eyes and even cause a burning sensation on the eyes, do not handle them directly. It is advisable to use rubber or plastic gloves. If you handle them with your bare hands, make sure to rinse your hands and nails thoroughly after preparation. Use warm soapy water.
- The recipe will require you to use three serrano peppers but for lesser heat, use fewer of these. The serrano peppers can be substituted with jalapeno peppers. These will yield a milder heat, and the salsa will not be as bright but still tasty.
- Green tomatoes can be used instead of the tomatillos.
Additions and extra touches
- You may need to add extra salt to your salsa. The perfect taste is when it is saltier by a little bit. This is because you will be using the salsa with other food items, and upon mixing, the food flavor will be just right without tasting overly salty.
- You can add a twist to this salsa by adding in some herbs such as dill, basil and mint for an extra and distinct flavor.
- To develop an even more savory and heartier salsa, you can also add in gherkins, anchovies, capers, and mustard.
- In order to bulk up the salsa’s flavor and taste, and also reduce the tanginess, throw in breadcrumbs, a boiled potato, a slice of stale bread that has been soaked in vinegar or water to the basic composition.
Serving size: 1 cup
- Calories: 56kcal
- Carbohydrates: 10g
- Protein: 2g
- Polyunsaturated fat: 2g
- Sodium: 490mg
- Sugar: 6g
The salsa verde can be refrigerated for 2-3 days in airtight containers or jars sealed with a thin layer of olive oil. The salsa also freezes very well therefore, you can make a large batch of it.