For weeks, I’ve been receiving more chiles and tomatillos than I can manage in my CSA share. Serranos, cherry peppers, jalapenos, banana peppers, and Big Jim (a.k.a. Hatch or Anaheim) chiles all make their way into my kitchen. In addition, I planted Big Jim and sweet bell peppers in the garden, so I’m collecting even more when I venture outside each day. And what does a person do when confronted with too many chiles and tomatillos?
Make salsa, of course.
I’ve made three batches of this stuff so far this summer, plus a batch of tomato salsa. If more tomatillos make their way into my share, I’m sure more salsa will come. I love it – we often enjoy tacos for dinner, and I spoon copious amounts of it on top. I stir it into zucchini dishes, throw it in my eggs, and I even use it as salad dressing. The surplus is frozen (I don’t always feel up to canning), so I can enjoy the fresh taste of summer in January when I’m tired of winter squash and potatoes.
In case you’re wondering, yes, I’ve shared a salsa verde recipe before. This one, however, is a touch different, because of the variety of chiles used. This time around, I threw a ton of chiles in the salsa – banana peppers, Big Jims, and a few serranos just for heat. But I also roasted those chiles (and the tomatillos) for a subtle, smoky sweetness. (Have you ever eaten a freshly roasted tomatillo? It’s amazingly sweet.) A quick blitz in the food processor, a pinch of salt and a taste or two, and this salsa was born.
I still am finding ways to use up more chiles. I roasted two baking pans full of Big Jims this weekend and put them up in the freezer. They’ll come in handy for any number of recipes (like Peach Hatch Chile Cobbler). I also threw a bunch of cherry peppers and jalapenos into a brine to pickle them – we’ll see how that turns out. I also put up some habanero-pear jam yesterday afternoon (yes, I’ll share the recipe soon, I promise!). And there are still peppers hanging about in the kitchen. It’s a nice problem to have, if you ask me!
Roasted Chile Salsa Verde
2-3 lbs tomatillos, husks removed
1 large yellow onion, peeled and sliced in half
6 large cloves garlic, peeled
5-6 banana peppers
4-5 Big Jim peppers
2-3 serrano peppers
Juice of 1/2 lime
large handful of cilantro, chopped (about 1/4-1/3 cup)
Pinch or two of ground cumin
Salt to taste
Line a baking sheet with foil, and turn on the broiler. Place the tomatillos, onion (cut-side down), garlic cloves, and peppers on the baking sheet and place under the broiler. Broil until the skins of the peppers and tomatillos blacken (about 5 minutes, depending on your broiler – don’t wander too far off!), and turn over with tongs. Broil the other side until blackened. Remove baking sheet and place chiles into a large bowl. Cover the bowl with foil or plastic wrap and set aside for 5-10 minutes to cool. This will allow the residual heat to “steam” off the skins of the chiles, making for easy peeling.
Place the tomatillos, garlic cloves, and onion in the bowl of a food processor. Once chiles have cooled, remove the stems, skins, and seeds from the chiles (plastic gloves might come in handy here, especially if you don’t wish to feel the heat of those chiles later when you decide to scratch your eye!), and place the chiles into the food processor. (You may not be able to get the skins off on the smaller chiles, such as the serranos – this is fine, just throw them in.) Pulse the processor as many times as necessary to break down the vegetable pieces into small bits. Add the lime juice, cilantro, cumin, and salt and pulse again. Taste and adjust seasoning – does it need more lime juice? More salt? Add a bit more as needed and pulse again to blend.
Store in glass jars in the refrigerator for about a week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free.