Wednesday, April 4, 2007

The Sneaky Serrano - Salsa Verde

It’s been a week since I started whining about when we’re going to see some green around here, some indication that the vernal equinox has in fact landed in the Mid-Atlantic States. It’s making an appearance in Chicago, California and the UK, but the buds have to be teased out all over my borough of trees. I probably shouldn’t complain too vigorously; we could be in Maine, a state that jokes about its eight-month-long winters. When Scott and I honeymooned there last September (yes, we went to Red’s Eats), there was a flurry of construction activity making time before the weather changed. There were also many businesses already shuttered for the end of tourist season. No one but us stragglers around.

A tomatillo.

A charred Anaheim pepper.
I’ll have to take matters into my own kitchen-crafty hands again, and conjure up the green man. I have a sack full of tomatillos and a pair of Anaheim peppers ready for the ritual. And make no mistake, charring, peeling and seeding peppers is a ritual not for the impatient; if you shortcut the blistering of the skin, you will make up the time with more tedious and frustrated peeling. Take care, too, when you cut and seed the serrano, the little sneak. He pretends he’s just a smooth and timid pipsqueak of a pepper, added more for color than bite, but with up to 15,000 units on the Scoville Chart, your skin will blister, too, if you touch your fingers to your mouth. That’s what’s so delightfully deceiving about Salsa Verde, so cool yet devilishly hot. It’s green for danger.

A serrano pepper.

Salsa Verde - Recipe from

This recipe was only slightly adapted, substituting vegetable broth for the chicken broth. Also note, the Anaheim peppers need to be fully charred, unlike my photo above.

This blog entry is being submitted to Kalyn's Weekend Herb Blogging event. Anh of Food Lover's Journey is this week's host.


  1. Yum. I love this type of salsa. In fact, anything with tomatillas is great!

  2. Me, too. It was hard to decide who was the real "star" of this classic recipe.

  3. Love tomatillo salsa (which in our household is called "the green stuff"). Many of my friends have huge vegetable gardens, and last year I asked a few of them to plant tomatillos for me. What I got at the end of the summer were jars and jars of homemade salsa -- how cool is that?

  4. Very cool, Lydia. The home gardener has the biggest bounties and the best varieties.

  5. Susan, I love the look of your salsa! Beautifully green. :)

    Thanks for participating in this week WHB.

  6. Thanks, Anh. The freshest veggies have the best color.

  7. The salsa looks fantastic! I *love* green salsa but haven't made it at home before.

  8. It's not a difficult sauce to make, Shawnda, but it is a bit time consuming to char, peel and seed the peppers. Your efforts, however, will be rewarded since fresh anything always tastes best. I'm glad you like it. Thanks!