Fresh Salsa and Canned Tomatillo Sauce

tomatillo sauce

Finally tomatoes are everywhere! And I have quite a few of their cousins the tomatillo as well. Conveniently this is the first weekend I am home in a long time, so I’m doing some canning. But first, I must fortify myself!

I went to  the farmer’s market this morning and picked up a bunch of cilantro, a few more tomatoes (couldn’t help myself), 2 bulbs of garlic (everyone says Drumlin has the best) and two ears of corn (above a sign that said they were picked at 5 am this morning!).  A note on picking corn: please don’t peel back the leaves! Look for fresh looking corn silk at one end and nice heavy feel which means high water content.

Once home I whipped up the following salsa in my little cuisinart chopper. I suggest not using the full on food processor as it will be turned to veggie juice if you aren’t very careful. First I pulsed 1 clove of garlic and a scallion. Then I added half of a red pepper and a hot pepper with the seeds removed and pulsed a few times. Next I filled the bowl with tomatoes and added salt and pulsed until a rough chop. Lastly I added rough-chopped cilantro and pulsed a few more times until it was the chunkiness level I wanted. I cut the corn off the cob and mixed it all together by hand. The hot pepper – even with the seeds and ribs removed (use gloves!) – was still quite hot, and the corn balanced it all out with its sweetness. Before I tackle the canning recipe below, I plan on eating with chips in the backyard and soaking up some last rays of summer.

Tomatillo Sauce

I got this recipe from someone I met at a party last weekend in Vermont. Haven’t tried this exact version yet, but I plan to. Haven’t decided if I will use maple syrup or not – but you couldn’t blame a Vermonter for adding it to the mix!

Roast halved tomatillos with an equal amount of tomatoes in a hot oven (400 degrees?) until they are very soft. (I might put the tomatillos in first and add the tomatoes when the ’tillos are about half way there.) At the same time also roast the hot peppers you want (halved and deseeded) until soft. Again, depending on the size of the peppers you might want to start them later as well.

Once everything is very soft, blend or process until your desired chunkiness. Be careful if you are doing this before everything has cooled! Transfer the sauce to a pan on the stove and simmer it down if the sauce is too thin for your liking. Season with salt, pepper and maple syrup to taste. Process in clean half pint jars for 10 minutes. Use as a chip dip or a sauce for huevos rancheros, fish, tacos – whatever!

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