Roasted Green Salsa With Tomatillos

This was my featured recipe in the current issue of Edible Santa Barbara and it’s a summer favorite worth sharing.  Green salsa can be made any number of ways, but to me, this roasted version is the best. It’s a great condiment for Mexican food of all types and a fantastic option on grilled fish, shrimp or octopus; it also complements roasted chicken deliciously.

Sometimes with salsa recipes the flavors and heat levels depend on the ingredients at your disposal. Here I give you some options to let you play with the flavors a bit. And call me crazy, but I prefer the taste of the salsa made in the molcajete to salsa made in the food processor. You can literally taste the difference. Amazing!



Wild tomatillos are smaller than cultivated ones—these are the size of cherry tomatoes. Their flavor is much bolder, more assertive. We often let them dry for a week or two in their husks before roasting them, which amps up their sweetness. You don’t have to dry them, but they’ll be much more acidic if you don’t.


At Christmastime we use the dried tomatillo husks to make buñuelos. We soak the husks in water before adding them to the flour mixture to make the dough more elastic and pliable.


Roasted Green Salsa



2 cloves of garlic

1 teaspoon salt

20 wild tomatillos or 10 cultivated ones

2 spicy jalapenos, or 1 serrano and 2 mild heat jalapenos

1 tablespoon cilantro leaves, chopped


Roast your tomatillos and peppers in a dry cast iron skillet. In a molcajete (or mortar and pestle) combine the garlic and salt.


Next, remove the stems of the peppers and mash, then add the tomatillos, followed by the cilantro leaves. Taste for seasoning and serve.



Combine the garlic and salt.


Add your chiles.


Pound away …


Add the tomatillos.


Crush the tomatillos …


Add the cilantro …


Or, process all in a mini-food processor and serve.




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5 thoughts on “Roasted Green Salsa With Tomatillos”

Well, first it was the chicken I’ll never make in the same way… then the Pimm’s cup which I’m still fiddling with to taste… next I guess i’ll me mashing tomitillos! Love your recipes! I also am dumping epsom’s salts in my rose bush and know how to clean my glasses for company. You are full of great ides.

Thank you so much for your kind words, Leslie! I’m glad to hear that you’ve enjoyed some of the recipes and tips.


We’ve been waiting all season for our tomatillo to produce but it looks like we’re going to be stuck with store bought tomatillos yet again.

Yes thakyou for your wonderful ideas and recipes. I look forward to your emails and love your style of Eat, Drink, and Garden. I remember when I first somehow got directed to your page I decided I needed to follow you as these are my most favorite things in life. And of course all are shared by my hubby and my boys. You are very lucky to live in Santa Barbara, our older son went to Westmont and leaving SB was very hard for him. Besides Maui (where we own a condo) SB is one of favorite retreats for food.

Thank you so much for your very nice comment. It looks like we share similar passions. Hope you get a chance to visit our neck of the woods soon.

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