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Salsa verde Mexicana

Time 10 minutes
Yields Makes 1 1/2 cups
Salsa verde Mexicana
(Los Angeles Times)
1

Heat the broiler. Arrange the tomatillos and jalapeno on a baking sheet and roast them under the broiler until their skins have begun to blacken and blister, 3 minutes. Turn them over and roast 2 more minutes. Remove from the oven. When cool, about 5 minutes, split the jalapeno and scrape away the seeds and skins.

2

With the machine running, drop the garlic into the food processor feed tube and mince thoroughly. Stop the machine and scrape the tomatillos and any collected juices into the work bowl. Add the jalapeno and the onion. Pulse 3 or 4 times to make a coarse puree. Scrape down the sides of the work bowl as needed. The mixture should have a distinct body to it rather than being completely smooth. Stir in the chopped cilantro, add salt to taste and serve.

Variations:
Mortar and pestle: Heat the broiler. Arrange the tomatillos and jalapeno on a baking sheet and roast them under the broiler until their skins have begun to blacken and blister, about 3 minutes. Turn them over and continue roasting 2 more minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside. When cool enough to touch, about 5 minutes, split the jalapeno and scrape away the seeds and skins.

Place the garlic in the mortar with a pinch of salt and pound to a paste. Add the tomatillos and the jalapeno and work steadily until it is reduced to a coarse, chunky mixture. Add the onion and work in thoroughly. Stir in the chopped cilantro and serve.
Traditionally, a cooked salsa verde, which this is, would be fried in oil after the puree was made. This mellows the flavor and binds the ingredients. When I’m serving it with grilled foods, though, I like the taste to be a little brighter and less finished.

Russ Parsons is a former food writer and columnist at the Los Angeles Times.
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