Cooking 4 Dummies: Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

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This salsa is like an electrical current running through the lighthearted corn soup, but it’s also ridiculous dabbed on eggs and pizza. We found a giant box of tomatillos (actually a relative of the gooseberry) for $4 at Savoie Farms’ table at Headhouse on Sunday. Dealsky… but what to do with 20 of these sticky green buggers? We made up this roasted salsa on the fly, and it came out crazy delicious: all caramelized sugars up front, followed by the tomatillo’s token sourness, with a wicked after-burn. We advise you to make it now, and if you can’t find tomatillos, this salsa would be just as delicious with tomatoes (just make sure their not too ripe). Do invest in the cumin and fennel seeds (if only for the aroma they’ll give your kitchen as they toast in the oven), and use any herb you have on hand. We have hoja santa (tastes like root beer!) growing in the garden, but basil, cilantro or mint work just as well.

Makes 2 cups
20 tomatillos (approximate)
2 medium-hot peppers (like jalapenos)
1 hot chili (like habanero or Thai bird)
1 tbsp. fennel seed
1 tbsp. cumin seed
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 cup hoja santa, chopped
1 lime, juiced and zested
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400.
2. Place tomatillos and peppers in ovenproof pan. Add cumin and fennel, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place in oven on top rack and roast for 25 minutes or until tomatillos look blistered and pulpy.
3. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Blend in blender with lime juice, lime zest and epazote till desired consistency is reached. Season with salt and pepper to taste, serve immediately or transfer to airtight container. The salsa will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks, or in the freezer forever.

Photo: blogalicious

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