Tomatillos rustle in their papery husks, the thin beige skins concealing a round, pale green orb; some varieties are tinged with a surprising purple blush. The fruit, once removed from the husk, is strangely sticky, tacky to the touch, an indicator of the high pectin content that gives the sauce such a pleasing thickness. Sliced open, the fruit is full of small soft seeds and spongy flesh. Eaten raw, the flavor is nothing much. But cooked with subtle spices, mingled with onion and garlic and lime, the humble, shy tomatillo comes into her own and shines, as a staple of Mexican cuisine.
The tomatillo was cultivated in Central America long before European contact, and played an important part in the food culture of both the Aztec and the Maya. Still a staple in the region, it has found a home in our pantries, too. Use it as a salsa, a topping for eggs and meats, or a simmer sauce for just about anything you can imagine.
If you plan on canning this salsa recipe and you are not familiar with the water bath canning method watch our water bath canning video workshop. Always make sure you are following all safety guidelines outlined by the USDA when canning anything.
This recipe makes 2 pints, or 4 half pints
In a large skillet or saucepan, combine the tomatillos, onions, peppers, lime juice, cilantro, garlic, cumin, and salt, along with 1/2 cup of water.
Bring to a low boil and cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce thickens and reduces by about about a third; this should take about 20 minutes.
When the sauce looks quite thick, remove it from the heat.
This salsa can be served chilled or warm as is, or preserved using the water bath canning method, as follows.
Using a canning funnel, pack the salsa into the prepared jars, leaving 1/2 “ headspace.
Wipe the rims, apply lids and rings hand tight.
Process in a boiling water bath canner for 15 minutes.
Remove the jars from the canner and place them on a kitchen towel to cool. Once you have ensured all of your jars have sealed, keep them in a cool, dry place for up to one year.
If you are not familiar with the water bath canning method watch our water bath canning video workshop. Always make sure you are following all safety guidelines outlined by the USDA when canning anything. Keeping a great journal leads to delicious results! Get inspired by new recipes, expert articles and homemade food adventures in our Monthly Journal.