Thursday, June 18, 2009

Authentic Mexican Salsa Verde, or, The Best Salsa Verde a Gringa can Make



Isn't salsa one of those thing that it never really crosses your mind to make yourself? Salsa's like, that stuff you buy in a jar from the store, right?

WRONG, yo. You can make this stuff yourself, and hello?? It's so easy. And it tastes amazing. It's great on enchiladas and burritos (obviously) but also tastes amazing spooned over scrambled eggs or as a topping for BBQ hot dog. And THIS! This is seriously the best salsa verde I have ever had. And I should know. I honeymooned in Mexico. That makes me an expert, right? right?? Anyway, it's tangy and mildly sweet, with a kick of fresh cilantro, parsley, and mint. It makes all other salsa verde pale in comparison, and once you make this you will KNOW that fresh is better than canned any day. Make yourself a big batch and enjoy it all summer!

Have I gushed enough? Are you convinced yet? Do I need to gush at you any more? Because I can keep going all day if I need to.



On a more somber note, I have some seriously tragic news to share concerning this salsa. I can't eat it. I mean, I can't eat very much of it. I can have a taste, but that's about it. See this cute little baby? This pinchable, squeezable, roly poly little bit of cuteness with the sad expression on his face?

10 weeks

He's got acid reflux. And it makes him cry. All the time. (in case you didn't have a baby yesterday like I did, all babies spit up and it usually doesn't bother them at all, but some kids have it worse and it's really painful and uncomfortable. It's called GERD and it sucks). And you know what makes him cry especially hard? Acidic foods. Like... all mommy's favorite foods. Lemons. Strawberries. Tomatoes. Salsa verde. I eat them. He cries. I don't eat them, he cries less. (But he still cries).

It took us a while to figure this out, because James ::never:: spits up. EVER. So we ruled out acid reflux as a cause for his crying months ago. Thing is, the darn kid re-swallows it every time. So while we never see any spit-up, it's there, burning his little throat and making him cry. This week we took a second look at the baby's behavior, and it's definitely reflux. Poor baby. And I just thought he hated me all this time.

So now mommy gets to subsist on a diet of bland food. AWESOME. I'm SO looking forward to eating rice cakes for the next year, I can't even tell you how thrilled I am (sarcasm, in case you missed that). I guess that just means more salsa verde for you (lucky dog)!


Authentic Mexican Salsa Verde, or, the Best Salsa Verde I have Ever Had
from Bon Appetit, June 2007
Makes 4 cups

People not from Los Angeles: Do no fear the tomatillo. Yes, it has a Spanish sounding name for "tomato," except it's green, and it has a papery husk. It's the tomato's tart, tangy paper clad country cousin, and you really ought to get to know eachother.

Because I say so.

And I'm the boss. Of this blog, anyways. See? So pretty.



3 pounds bright green tomatillos, husked and rinsed
2 jalapeños, seeded

1 + 1/2 teaspoons cumin
6 small cloves fresh garlic, peeled

1 medium bunch cilantro
3/4 cup Italian parsley
1/3 cup fresh mint, packed
1 + 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Kosher salt
cracked black pepper


1. Put the tomatillos and jalapeños in a large heavy pot, and cover with water. Bring to a boil, and boil for 15 minutes until tomatillos are soft. Let sit for 15 minutes.

2. Drain tomatillos and place in a food processor with cumin and garlic cloves. Pulse until coarsely chopped. Add cilantro, parsely, and mint, and pulse to combine. Blend until herbs are incorporated, and sauce begins to liquify (but there are still small chuncks).

3. Return sauce to pot. Add vegetable oil, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and simmer 15 - 20 minutes, until sauce thickens. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let cool and store in the fridge. Enjoy!


  1. What a cutie, love the mohawk!

    I wanted to give you a post on Eco Child's Play for natural remedies for acid reflux, but this comment box won't let me paste. Do you know why? If you do a google search for "acid reflux eco child's play" (without quotes), it's the first hit.

    Feel better, both of you!

  2. I wish I could eat the salsa verde you made! It looks waaaaaaaaay "gooder" than mine!

  3. Christopher Unruh's acid reflux went away after a few months. So it may not be a whole year without those foods!

  4. I ate chicken and rice for breakfast, lunch, and dinner one day. I couldn't think of anything else that would taste any good, and was mild enough not to bother my little guy's digestion (though I wasn't thinking very well when Luke was first born either). Luckily that is all over now and I can eat whatever. That day will come for you too!

  5. My youngest had acid reflux as well and I feel your pain. Oh, the crying. It gets easier the older they get. No problems today and the little guy can and does eat anything. Good luck!

    Oh, and thanks for the salsa verde recipe... will definitely be making this one as we eat boatloads of salsa around here.

  6. hey becca, this might be a little late and you may have already figured it out, but in case this helps. we did have trouble with topher's reflux and it makes life MISERABLE (and for the baby, too). i couldn't have dairy until i finally figured this out.

    we used a combination of Gripe Water and sleep/feeding positions to help him out. You can buy Gripe Water from Target or Walmart and it's an all-natural reflux aid that works great! I used it pretty much every time I laid him down to bed for his 2nd-4th month of life. Then one day, he didn't need it anymore. We also raised the head of his crib with some thick books (which we had plenty of). Also, when I nursed him I tried to feed him at an angle to keep his head raised (made for an awkward feeding position but if it helped him, it was worth it). Oh...and I also didn't lay him down flat for at least 15-20 minutes after a feeding. These things REALLY helped the reflux. Didn't disappear completely until recently, but it did make things survivable.

    I hope this wasn't too much unsolicited advice. Please forgive me if you've already heard all this. Hope he gets better soon and that you get some peace!


  7. Hey Courtney (and everyone else!) thankyou for the tips! I've been implementing them with the little guy, and they have helped a lot! I eventually had to pull out the big guns and have his pediatrician put him on some acid-reflux medications, but these made him much more comfortable!

  8. I am growing tomatillos in my garden and I will be bookmarking this page for future reference. I also had a GERD baby who never, ever spit up and it took us months to diagnose him.

    We ended up putting him on the baby Zantac and it worked wonders. For mild cases the natural remedies frequently work - but the most important thing is no more pain for the bebeh.

  9. nice to see a Salsa verde, nice photos :) i think you can keep out the mint :) actually i think if you use the tomatillos (tomates to me) the jalapeños and cilantro you will get the must basic salsa like many many people do in mexico. saludos!!

  10. Fresh homemade salsa verde is so good!

  11. He is so yummy!! This is quickly becoming a favorite in our house - I usually buy it from a wonderful local mexican market but love the idea of making it from scratch! Cannot wait to try this one!

  12. Meet my new love Zantac! hahahha...
    It cures all the stomach acidity I've been going through. Got it at
    ZANTAC my friend, ZANTAC! It works wonders and always keep it handy at all times

  13. It's so sad that he has GERD. :( Anyway, salsa are just the best! I'm actually making my own canning salsa recipes . Feel free to drop by some time. Thanks.

  14. Have you ever tried making it with olive oil instead of veg? I wanted to try it but didn't want to ruin the whole batch. Thx! I loooove salsa verde and I LOVE your recipe!!!
    Fyi, lemon and lime put your body in an alkaline state so drinking a glass of lemon/lime water 15 min before your meals helps a lot. =)

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  16. THis is my favorite salsa recipe out there.

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  18. Hi I was wondering how long this would last, see I live in Sweden where finding tomatillos is only possible for a short time, but I love salsa verde (I'm a New York girl originally) and I would like to have it around all the time if possible. Can this be frozen? or rather can the tomatillos be frozen? Thanks and this was a wonderful recipe!

  19. I would think you can freeze the salsa verde once cooked, and cooled. We used to freeze everything tomatoe sauce, pizza sauce, salsa.

    Good luck

  20. Does this recipe hold up to canning?

  21. your salsa sounds really good, just wanted to know if you ever tried to roast the tomatillos. My grandfather used to roast the tomatillos, onions, garlic and chilies in the oven. It bring out the flavor better. I know that this post was made a while a go but I think if you are able to eat it now that maybe you could try it and see what the difference is.

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