Spicy Tomatillo Salsa

with serrano peppers

Kramer is back in school as of this week, so it finally feels like the beginning of a new year and that things are back to normal again. I had a hard time getting out of the holiday spirit this past month. After all of the parties, all of the food, and all of the presents, it seems like January is a cold, hard slap in the face, making everyone get back to reality. However, I was passively resisting this so-called reality. It’s hard to step away from it! November and December are so exciting; everyone’s in a good mood (or, at the very least, a better, more tolerable mood) and work slows down a bit as everyone goes on vacation and spends time with family, whether you celebrate a holiday or just enjoying the fact that other people are, and therefore, are leaving you alone. SIGH. Those were the day. Now it’s almost February, the Superbowl is this weekend, and it’s even a bit warmer in New York this week instead of the frigid ‘real feel’ of -1 degrees Fahrenheit that it was last week (I’m sure the weather was a big part of my resistsance). I’m coming to terms with it, albeit it slowly, through making excuses to continue my eating rampage across NYC. We did Ippudo for ramen on Friday night, then Sel de Mer for seafood on Saturday night, followed by delivery bagels on Sunday. And it didn’t stop there! I went out to dinner with my friend Lindsey on Monday night, where we caught up and pigged out on Southern food (barbecued pig tails are the new ribs, people – look into it) at The Brooklyn Star, then last night, Kramer and I roasted some vegetables and sausages and finally tucked into Kevin Bacon’s new show, The Following. It is incredibly creepy and therefore extremely awesome…but don’t act like we will ever forget that you were Hollow Man, Mr. Bacon. We all remember.

Spicy Tomatillo SalsaMe being cold last Saturday night.

So, seeing as how it’s almost time for the Superbowl, I thought I’d share one of my favorite salsa recipes. I think that chips and salsa are a very important party food, no matter what kind of party you’re having. Everyone likes chips and salsa; I put this Spicy Tomatillo Salsa out two weekends ago when I had a few friends over, and predictably, everyone gathered around the big bowl of tortilla chips and we all spent a few hours talking in between demolishing both the salsa and the chips. Having lived in Arizona for a little over eight years (and California for two years before that), chips and salsa are as common there as bread and butter is on the East coast. My mom always had a big bag of tortilla chips and at least three jars of salsa in the fridge when I lived at home, which was my go-to snack when studying or on weekends after getting home late. My favorite salsa has always been of the green variety. I like the clean, simple flavor of roasted tomatillos, along with the heat from your pepper of choice (I went for the spicy serrano this time around) and the zing of just a hint of lime juice. You can use cilantro, if you want, but I left it out this time. Kramer and I made enough to use the next day, so we ate our eggs with a dollop of this salsa, which is just the thing to wake you up on Sunday morning (especially after you’ve had one too many Old Fashioneds).

Spicy Tomatillo SalsaExcellent hamachi at Ippudo on Friday night.

Spicy Tomatillo Salsa
Ramen with pork belly and a poached egg – so delicious I can still taste it.

Spicy Tomatillo Salsa
Quickly blanch your tomatillos in boiling water for 5 minutes.

Spicy Tomatillo Salsa
Then roast them alongside serrano peppers and a white onion, then puree and add salt, pepper, and 1 garlic clove.

Spicy Tomatillo Salsa
Serve with tortilla chips, on eggs, or on tacos. Enjoy!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Spicy Tomatillo Salsa
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 cups salsa
An incredibly easy salsa made with roasted tomatillos and serrano peppers.
  • 10 tomatillos, husks removed
  • 2 serrano peppers, stems removed and sliced lengthwise
  • 1 white onion, quartered
  • 1 clove garlic
  • juice of 1 lime
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. In a large pot, bring enough water to cover the tomatillos to a boil. When the water is boiling, add in the tomatillos and boil for 5 minutes, just to blanch.
  2. Place the tomatillos on a lined baking sheet, along with your sliced serrano peppers and quartered onion. Roast for 10 minutes or so, until the tomatillos are blackened a bit.
  3. Place the roasted tomatillos, onions, peppers, and 1 garlic clove in the food processor, along with the lime juice, salt, and pepper. Pulse until smooth, then taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. Allow to cool and store in the fridge for up to a week.


15 Responses

  1. Elizabeth says:

    I love homemade salsa because of how fresh and great it tastes, but have never made one with tomatillos. I must try! It looks like the perfect blend of spicy and delicious.

  2. Rhonda says:

    I definitely have the ‘back to reality blues’ after the holidays. I am actually making salsa for the Super Bowl also, this looks simple and tasty!

  3. Dana says:

    Gorgeous salsa! I love love love a tomatillo salsa. It must be because it is so cold out this week but I have been having mad cravings for anything spicy!

    Also, that bowl of ramen is calling to me. It looks transgressively good!

  4. This looks so good – spicy and with texture, mmm, I could go to town on this stuff. I love salsa with a kick!

  5. I, too, prefer green salsas – this looks delicious, and wonderfully easy to make!

  6. Stacey Evans says:

    This looks awesome! I think I will make this for the Superbowl party we are going to on Sunday. Thanks for sharing!

  7. I’m not really a salsa fan (I don’t care for spicy foods). However, the boyfriend and I will be visiting a group of friends and all day people just nibble. I think this is going on my list to make (the group likes spicy!).

  8. Yum! That looks like such a great spin on classic salsa. I love The Following too. Did you like living in Arizona and California? I want to move to Cali asap!

  9. Deb says:

    Spicy will certainly be fitting for this weekends game! I usually make a tomato based salsa but the tangy tomatillos would be better suited for the pulled pork sandwiches that are on the menu. Great recipe for game day!

  10. Anthony says:

    I love tomatillo salsa! I put it over eggs or carnitas or a chicken breast — it’s definitely not just for chips. :) I usually make Rick Bayless’ recipe from “Salsas that cook” with more garlic. One can never have enough garlic. Interesting that you blanch the tomatillos before roasting; I just roast them. Do you find this makes a difference in the flavor?

    Laura: California is a beautiful state, but the cost of living and the taxes here are way too high, and we’re going down an economic drain thanks to misgovernance. I love the state, but I couldn’t recommend moving here to anyone.

  11. Sarah says:

    Oh man, salsa is following me around this week! This is a sign. Tomatillo salsa is on the cards.

  12. This is perfect, the only chili’s in my garden are serrano and I plan on growing some tomatillos in the next season.
    Hope to make this with some of my heirloom tomatoes, to see how it goes. I will probably throw in some cilantro though too. Thanks again.

  13. Megan says:

    Yum! This looks so good. I’ve never dealt with a tomatillo, but I do love them.

  14. We grow a lot of tomatillos on our farm. I love the sound of this spicy salsa!

  15. […] freaking February, it’s time for Super Bowl food. I’m talking cheesy pretzel dogs, spicy salsa, and maybe for dessert, some peanut butter brownies. What you really need for a great Super Bowl […]

Leave a Reply

©2022 The Crepes of Wrath