Green for St. Patrick’s Day (Salsa Verde)

Don’t get me wrong, I love corned beef. I love cabbage. But everybody and their dog has a corned beef and cabbage recipe up this time of year. . . . . .You know, I’m not even sure corned beef with cabbage is actually Irish.

Aha! According to Wikipedia, corned beef is Irish-American. So it’s at least slightly more Irish than I am.

In the spirit of “I have no right to be wearing a ‘Kiss me, I’m Irish’ shirt,” here’s a recipe that is about as Irish as I am: Tomatillo Salsa Verde with Avocado. The hard part of this recipe is probably finding the tomatillos.

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Can’t believe I left the produce stickers on. Food photography is harder than you think, yo.

Tomatillos look like the offspring of a green tomato and a cape gooseberry. They are sold with the husks on and should feel firm underneath their papery coverings. Underneath the husks they are sticky. This is normal. Remove the husks and the cores before use.

This salsa goes great with tacos containing fatty meat like carnitas or barbacoa. It has the right amount of heat and tart zip to refresh the palate and get you diving back in for more. This particular recipe came from Roberto Santibañez of Fonda in Brooklyn. It’s in his book Truly Mexican which has a mind-boggling array of salsa recipes. (I can’t recommend the book to Mexican food fans enough. It is an amazing introduction to the basics and works all the way up to Oaxacan Mole.)

This is basically two recipes in one. You can stop with just plain Tomatillo Salsa for something more tart and crisp. Or you can add avocados and make a nice soupy salsa.

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Try not to dive in face first . . . .

Tomatillo Salsa by Roberto Santibañez

Proc: Enough for a Party Size of 4 to 6


  • Blender


  • 1/2 lb of Tomatillos
  • 2 tbsp of chopped white onion
  • 2 peppers (serrano or jalapeno), roughly chopped
  • 1 peeled clove of garlic (two pictured above because they were small)
  • 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro
  • Good sized pinch of salt


  1. Remove the husks and core the tomatillos. Roughly chop them and put them in the blender first. It will take a little bit before the blades catch on the tomatillos so its important to put them in the blender first.
  2. If you aren’t into super-hot food (I’m not), remove the seeds and ribs from the peppers before you chop them.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and blitz until a consistent mixture is reached.

DLC: With Avocado


  • 2 small avocados or 1 large, cubed
  • 2 peppers (serrano or jalapeno), roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/2 lemon or lime worth of juice
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Leave the Tomatillo Salsa in the pitcher of the blender.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients.
  3. Blitz until a smooth consistency is reached.

Note: The salsa is best within a few hours of being made, but it will keep overnight.

ProTip: A box of nitrile gloves is a great thing to keep in your pantry. Make use of them when cutting hot peppers. This is the best way to keep from accidentally getting jalapeno juice in your eyes.


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