When I became pregnant, I began to enjoy foods I usually didn’t like. One of those foods was Salsa Verde.
My husband and I would eat Mexican cuisine every Friday night. I normally didn’t like Salsa Verde, but one Friday night I began to crave it.
Sure enough, two weeks later I found out I was expecting. Thankfully, this was a turning point for me, and I still love Salsa Verde.
We still eat Mexican cuisine every Friday night, but now Salsa Verde is a must have for whatever we fix. Therefore I grow tomatillos in our garden and make and can Salsa Verde from scratch every year.
If you love Salsa Verde too or are a looking to a different alternative to plain salsa, have a look at this recipe I found in Balls: Blue Book Guide to Preserving.
Here’s how you can make and preserve your own Salsa Verde:
What is Salsa Verde?
Salsa Verde is a green salsa made from tomatillos. It has a tangier flavor than most red salsas I’ve tasted. It also can be a tad bit spicier than some red salsas I’ve tasted.
It’s a great addition to fajitas, for nachos, or even to dip tortilla chips in. If you’re looking for a different condiment to accompany your Mexican cuisine, you need to try salsa Verde.
When to Harvest Tomatillos
If you’re making Salsa Verde from scratch, you’ll need tomatillos. Instead of tomatoes being the base, they are.
You can purchase tomatillos, but I grow my own. They look like a tomato plant and require similar care. However, they produce differently.
The first year I grew my own tomatillos, I remember being extremely perplexed when I saw the plants begin to produce.
Tomatillos form their husks first. You’ll see a bunch of paper thin husks hanging on the plant. This is only the beginning of the tomatillo.
But you don’t pick them until the tomatillo has formed within the husk and is bursting through it. When you see a complete tomatillo sticking out of the paper-thin skin, they’re ready for harvest.
How to Make and Can Salsa Verde
This recipe originated from the Ball: Blue Book Guide to Preserving and is intended to make approximately two pints of Salsa Verde.
- 2 pounds of tomatillos with husks removed, chopped and cores removed
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup of green chili pepper, chopped
- 4 cloves of minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons of minced cilantro
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- ½ teaspoon of red pepper
- ½ cup vinegar
- ¼ cup lime juice
1. Prep the Veggies
Making Salsa Verde is a simple process. You begin by prepping each of your vegetables. Wash the vegetables and dry them gently.
Next, chop the vegetables. If you’re working with peppers, be sure to remove the seeds. If you’re working with an onion, be sure to remove the outer layers of the onion.
Also, be sure to remove any cores from the tomatillos as well. You can do all of the mincing and chopping by hand with a sharp knife.
However, I prefer to toss all of my vegetables into a food processor after I roughly chopped them. This makes everything more uniform and makes for much easier prep work.
Once all the vegetables have been prepped, it’s time to move forward with making Salsa Verde.
2. Boil the Mixture
Place all the prepped veggies in a large sauce pot. Add each of the spices listed above on the ingredient list as well.
When everything is in one pot, stir to where it’s slightly mixed, turn the stove on, and bring the entire mixture to a boil.
After the mixture has boiled, turn the heat on the stove down and allow the ingredients to simmer for approximately 10 minutes.
3. Fry the Salsa Verde
Frying is an additional step we usually do when making both Salsa and Salsa Verde because it gives the ingredients a little more flavor, in my and my family’s opinion. It also helps thicken the salsa a bit.
Place approximately two tablespoons of oil in a frying pan. Heat the oil and ladle the Salsa into the frying pan.
Allow the Salsa Verde to “fry” for two to three minutes before pouring it back into the sauce pot.
Again, this step is optional but is something we’ve grown to like doing though it’s an additional step. Try it and see if you agree it’s worth the added effort.
4. Prep the Jars
Once your Salsa Verde is cooked, it’s time to prep your jars. If you have multiple people working in the kitchen, you could get them started on this step ahead of time if you’d prefer.
Either way, wash each jar with warm soapy water, dry each jar, and place in the oven to sanitize. If you have a dishwasher, you could wash the jars in it and either sanitize in the oven or use the sanitize setting on your dishwasher, if available.
You also need to bring a small pot of water to a boil. Turn the stove off and place new lids in the water for one to two minutes.
After the lids have been sanitized in this way, reheat the water to boiling. Let the rings remain in the boiled water for approximately one to two minutes as well to sanitize them.
Once everything is sanitized, place them on a clean, dry towel, and move forward with packing the jars.
5. Process the Jars
After the jars have been sanitized, it’s time to fill them. Ladle hot Salsa Verde into the newly sanitized, hot jars.
I choose to use a soup ladle. You’ll also need a canning funnel to get the salsa into the jar and not all over your counter.
Be sure to leave ½ inch of headspace at the top of the jar to ensure the lids can seal properly. Place the sanitized lids and rings on the jar and secure them tightly.
Now you can place them in your water bath canner.
After all the jars are in the canner (or your canner is full) fill the canner with water to cover the tops of the jars.
Place the canner on the stove and turn the stove on high heat. Once the water begins to boil, you can start the timer for processing. The jars should be processed for 15 minutes.
6. Wait and Store
Once the jars have been processed for 15 minutes in the canner, use your jar grabber to remove the hot jars from the boiling water safely.
Be sure to place the jars on a surface which can’t be scorched or on a surface which has been padded with multiple layers of towels to keep it protected.
Allow the jars to rest for 24 hours. During this period, it’s normal to hear a ‘ping’ sound. This is the sound of the jars sealing.
After 24 hours, run your finger over the top of each lid. The lids have a button in the center. The ‘ping’ sound is the suction pulling the button down and sealing the jar.
As you run your finger over the lid, the top should feel smooth. If you feel one of the buttons is still sticking up or accidentally push the button down with your finger, the jar didn’t seal properly.
You can either place that jar of Salsa Verde in the refrigerator to be used first or place a clean lid on the jar and reprocess it.
Label the jars with what’s inside and the date, and now you can store them. They should be placed in a cool, dark location for storage and later use.
You’re now in the know on how to utilize your tomatillo harvest and how to make a delicious Salsa Verde.
Homemade Salsa Verde will add a little something special to your Mexican cuisine nights. It’s also great with chips and even on your eggs. This salsa tastes terrific and gives a little different kick to traditional meals.