This roasted tomatillo and tomato salsa is to die for!
If you like tomatillo and tomato salsa, you are going to love this traditional and easy version of the recipe. If you live in the US or Mexico, you will probably be very familiar with tomatillos. They are a bit more difficult to come by in other countries but you should still be able to get them.
This tomatillo and tomato salsa is one I have been making since I was in my early teens and it is so good.
What are tomatillos?
Tomatillos are small, green, tomato-like fruits with a paper-like husk that are common in Mexican and Central American cuisine. Despite their resemblance to green tomatoes, tomatillos belong to a different plant species. The scientific name for tomatillos is Physalis philadelphica. These fruits are also known by other names, including Mexican husk tomatoes or simply husk tomatoes.
What do you look for when choosing the best tomatillos for tomatillo and tomato salsa?
Choosing the best tomatillos ensures that you get the freshest and most flavorful ones for your tomatillo and tomato salsa. Here are some tips on how to pick the best tomatillos:
- Husk Appearance:
- Look for tomatillos with tight, intact husks. The husk should be dry and papery. Avoid tomatillos with husks that are shriveled or have mold spots.
- Fruit Color:
- Choose tomatillos that are a vibrant, bright green color. While some variation is natural, avoid tomatillos that are overly yellow or have dark spots.
- Gently squeeze the tomatillos to check for firmness. They should feel firm and have a slight springiness when pressed. Avoid those that are too soft or mushy.
- Tomatillos come in various sizes, but generally, smaller tomatillos tend to be sweeter, while larger ones may be a bit more tart. Choose the size that best fits your recipe or personal preference.
- Surface Texture:
- Look for tomatillos with smooth and unblemished skin. Wrinkles, cracks, or other irregularities on the skin may indicate age or spoilage.
- Heavier tomatillos are often juicier. While this isn’t a strict rule, it can be a helpful indicator of freshness.
- While tomatillos themselves don’t have a strong scent, you can give them a sniff to check for any off-putting or fermented odors. Fresh tomatillos should have a mild, fresh aroma.
- Seasonal Considerations:
- Tomatillos are typically in season during late summer and fall. Purchasing them during their peak season often ensures better flavor and quality.
Remember that tomatillos are commonly used in Mexican and Central American cuisine, especially in dishes like salsa verde. Once you’ve chosen your tomatillos, store them in a cool, dry place or in the refrigerator, and use them within a week or two for the best flavor and texture.
How do you prepare tomatillo and tomato salsa?
There are some recipes that call for fresh, unroasted ingredients. You will get a great tomatillo and tomato salsa doing that too.
In this recipe, you roast the tomatillos, tomatoes, onion and garlic before blending them with the other ingredients. I prefer the salsa this way as it adds depth but you might prefer the fresher flavor of using raw ingredients.
How long does tomatillo and tomato salsa keep in the fridge?
This delicious salsa will keep in the fridge in an air-tight container for at least 3 days. In fact, as it rests in the fridge, the flavours will develop and it will be even better.
Should you serve tomatillo and tomato salsa smooth or chunky?
This is completely down to you and your own preference. I like to blend my salsa using the pulse button so that there are still chunky bits in it. If you prefer your tomatillo and tomato salsa smooth, just blend it for longer.
If you like it really chunky, why not do it the traditional way in a pestle and mortar? You will have a lot more control over the texture when you do this.
Can you freeze tomatillo and tomato salsa?
Yes, you can freeze tomatillo and tomato salsa, but keep in mind that the texture of the vegetables, particularly tomatoes, may change upon thawing. Freezing can cause cell walls to break down, leading to a softer texture. However, the flavor of the salsa should remain intact.
If you find tomatillos difficult to come by, this is a great way of keeping it and having this amazing green salsa on hand whenever you want it.
Here’s how you can freeze tomatillo and tomato salsa:
- Cool the Salsa: Allow the salsa to cool to room temperature before freezing. This helps prevent condensation inside the container, reducing the risk of ice crystals forming.
- Choose Freezer-Safe Containers: Use containers or freezer bags designed for freezing. Glass containers may be suitable, but leave some space at the top to account for expansion.
- Label and Date: Clearly label the containers with the date and contents. This helps you keep track of how long the salsa has been in the freezer.
- Remove Air: If using plastic bags, try to remove as much air as possible before sealing to minimize the risk of freezer burn.
- Freeze in Small Portions: Consider freezing the salsa in smaller portions to make it easier to thaw and use only what you need.
- Thawing: When you’re ready to use the salsa, transfer it to the refrigerator to thaw slowly. Rapid thawing can result in a more watery consistency.
- Stir Well: After thawing, stir the salsa well to help distribute any separation that may have occurred during freezing.
While the texture might be different after freezing, the flavor should still be enjoyable. Frozen tomatillo and tomato salsa can be a convenient way to preserve a surplus of fresh salsa or to prepare batches ahead of time. Just be aware of the potential textural changes and plan accordingly based on your preferences and the intended use of the salsa.
Can you upscale or downscale this recipe?
Yes. The recipe in the recipe card below will make enough to serve 6 to 8 people as a starter with corn chips. Feel free to scale it up or down depending on how much you require.
Step by step photographs
What are you looking for when roasting the vegetables?
You want the vegetables to char in places but be careful not to over cook and burn them. Keep an eye on them and turn when you see that char. Really watch the garlic. It can easily burn. When the skin chars a little, remove the garlic and then the skins.
You want the garlic to be soft in the interior but if it is still a bit hard, that’s fine too.
Who doesn’t love a good salsa? You might like to try some of these too!
You might also like to try Mexican Pickled Carrots which are delicious with any Mexican meal.
Have you tried this tomatillo and tomato salsa recipe?
If yes, please give it a star rating in the recipe card below. Please also leave a comment. I love receiving your feedback and I’m sure other readers of my blog do to. Thank you.
- 7 tomatillos
- 2 large roma tomatoes
- 3 cloves garlic, unpeeled
- 2 Serrano chilies
- 1 jalapeño chili
- 1 small handful cilantro (coriander), roughly chopped
- 1/2 onion, cut into two pieces
- Juice of one lime
- Salt to taste
- Remove the husks from the tomatillos and wash the tomatillos, tomatoes and chilies thoroughly.
- Place the tomatillos, tomatoes, chilies, garlic cloves and onion on a baking tray, lined with foil.
- Slide the tray under your pre-heated broiler (grill) and grill for about 7 minutes or until the vegetables are beginning to char.
- Turn all the ingredients to char the other side for another 7 minutes. If it looks like the garlic it beginning to burn, take it out and remove the skin. Set aside.
- Once all the vegetables are nicely charred in places, remove them from the oven and allow to cool some.
- Place the cooled vegetables in a blender with the cilantro (coriander), peeled garlic and lime juice and blend until smooth or chunky. You decide.
- Season with salt to taste and allow to chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving. That is unless you don't mind it a bit warm and you're hungry for salsa deliciousness!
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 92Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 322mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 5g