Salsa verde is the other salsa. Sure, it's pretty and stands out against the array of its generally red-hued cousins. But throughout my life, its sourness kept it from making the cut at salsa bars until about 10 years ago, when I came to my senses. At a Mission District taqueria, I once ordered chile verde on a whim, wooed by its comfort food properties, and I was struck by how that tart tomatillo flavor accentuated the sweetness of the pork. Now that I have revealed my love affair with this meat, it's easy to see why salsa verde is now a staple for our carnitas nights. If raw tomatillos are too sour for your palate, try roasting them before blending to get a mellower, more robust sauce.
- 1 lb. just-ripe tomatillos, husks removed and washed thoroughly
- 2 serrano chiles
- 1/2 small onion, chopped
- 1 generous handful cilantro
- Approx. 1 tsp. kosher salt
- Place the oven rack in the topmost position and preheat the broiler. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and scatter it with the tomatillos and chiles. Place the baking sheet under the broiler and roast about 10 minutes. When the tops of the vegetables blacken, turn over and char the other side. Remove from the oven, place tomatillos in the blender, and set chiles aside to cool.
- Rinse chopped onions under cold running water for about 20 seconds, drain, and add to the blender along with the cilantro. Trim the ends off the cooled serranos, then chop and add to blender, or remove some/all of the seeds and ribs to reduce the heat (I use the seeds from one chile). Add salt, then blend until nearly smooth.