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Food

Salsa verde’s vegan anyway, but this one’s the best

Salsa verde with charred tomatillos and jalapeños plus dried mushroom powder.
Salsa verde with charred tomatillos and jalapeños plus dried mushroom powder.
(Ren Fuller / For The Times / Styled by Genevieve Ko / Propped by Nidia Cueva at PropLink Tabletop Studio)

Traditional salsa verde recipes are purely plant-based, but vegan chef Jocelyn Ramirez brings even more depth to her version with the addition of dried shiitake mushroom powder. You can make it simply by pulsing dried mushrooms in a spice grinder until finely ground. Charring tomatillos and jalapeños on either a grill or stovetop adds a welcome smokiness to the salsa too. Ramirez uses it to simmer her vegan chilaquiles and it would be a welcome companion to a bag of tortilla chips for a cocktail hour snack too.

Charred Salsa Verde

30 minutes. Makes about 4 cups.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds tomatillos, husked and rinsed
  • 2 large jalapeños
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dried shiitake mushroom powder
  • ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 small bunch cilantro (3 ounces), chopped (2 cups)

Instructions

  1. Set up a charcoal grill for direct heat or heat a gas grill to medium. Alternatively, heat a large skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Arrange the tomatillos and jalapeños on the grill in a single layer and cook, turning to evenly blacken, until tender and charred, about 20 minutes.
  3. Transfer the tomatillos to a blender and the jalapeños to a cutting board. Cut the stems off the jalapeños and discard; cut out the seeds and ribs and reserve. Add the jalapeños’ flesh to the blender, along with the cumin, mushroom powder, lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon salt. Blend until slightly chunky yet smooth. Taste and add more salt if needed and the reserved jalapeño seeds and ribs if you want a hotter salsa. Add the cilantro and blend, leaving small pieces of cilantro.

Make Ahead
The salsa verde can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week.


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