19 November 2013

Salsa Verde Recipe

If you've been reading over the spring and summer, you know we've gardened in four states this calendar year, starting seeds, moving them with us to relatives' homes for their summer fruitfulness, and starting fresh here in South Texas.

If you're a gardener, too, you know there's a lot of satisfaction in simply tending the plants and watching them grow.  If they bloom and you see healthy little honey bees pollinating them, you know you've done the world some good.  Yet if you don't get to share in the harvest, there's a little piece of the joy missing.  You're happy when at least someone can enjoy the tasty goods, but it's not like being there yourself for those delicious fall feasts.

Well, that Friday afternoon when I stepped out on my front porch to check for the mail, and found a flat rate box waiting from home-people, I just knew without needing to be told what was packed inside.

My brother excels in  picking out meaningful gifts, and regularly outdoes himself with the latest expression of generosity.  This box was no exception.  He thought of everything:  green beans, a zucchini, beets, carrots, hot peppers, tomatoes, and even tomatillos.  From our own garden.  Some of which started their lives in Virginia, bore their fruit in Oregon, and now came to the table in Texas.

We looked forward to some of our very own tomatillos for salsa verde all summer long, and now it was really happening.  I think my brother knew just how much it would mean to me to have that box of goodies.  It made my day.  No, not just one day.  It still makes my day every time I even give it a passing thought.

Have you ever made salsa verde before?  My husband learned from someone who worked in the music department of our undergraduate university, and I tried making it myself for the first time this fall.  It's delightfully easy, and it works well for those of us who like, at least every once-in-a-while, to cook by what looks right instead of by exact measurements. 

There are multitudes of other ways to make a green salsa (which is all "salsa verde" really means), but this is the one we're good at in our house.

Salsa Verde Recipe

1 green bell pepper
1 jalapeno pepper, or more if you like it with some heat (eek!  I can't find the little squiggle to go over the n!)
1 pretty small onion (or about a quarter of a large one)
1/2 avocado (or slightly less)
Dash of lime or lemon juice
Salt to taste
Chopped cilantro (optional)

Cover the bottom of a wide, medium sauce pan with tomatillos (peeled, cut in half).  Add the green bell pepper (in two halves, without the seeds), the onion or section thereof, and the jalapeno (with the seeds if you like the added heat).  Lightly steam these, until they're just tender.

Put all the vegetables, minus the water for steaming, into a blender.  Add the avocado half, and blend.  Taste the salsa now, and decide how much lime or lemon juice you want to add.  I add 1/2 to 1 Tablespoon usually, but if there's a larger avocado half in there, I add more.  Also add some salt at this point.  It's really to taste with both the salt and the lime--add a little, blend, taste, add a little more, blend....until you're happy.

Then stir in (don't blend) the chopped cilantro.

We love this salsa on its own with chips, in a taco salad, on a haystack (ask me if you haven't heard of one!), and on enchiladas of any kind, as well as on a baked potato with gravy for a little more zing.


  1. This is a beautiful post. I love the story of the three states of the garden, and the kindness of your parents and brother. Thank you for the recipe. I will try it, if I ever have some Tomotillos on hand.

  2. I'm THRILLED to hear that your brother mailed you a box with produce from your garden, how delightful!

    This salsa verde looks and sounds soooo yummy! The ones we buy at the store don't have avocado in them though, right? (I have only had Trader Joe's, I've never actually made it, though I am kind of a "pico de gallo" salsa specialist).

    Oh, and if you want to use the "tilde" like this: ñ you need to install the U.S. International keyboard on your computer. Then just press shipt and the ~`key (under esc)and n after. It also works for Brazilian words such as não (no). :)

    If you're blogging from the phone, you need to add Spanish as one of the keyboard languages (if available, it works on the iphone).

  3. P.S. I'm sorry about your lost/misplaced painting. :( Do you remember packing it? It's SOOOO frustrating to lose stuff, isn't it? And it happens a lot when moving -- hopefully you'll have misplaced and not lost it. :(


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