This roasted tomatillo or green tomato salsa is SO good – I love having it on hand as another option along with our regular, favorite canned red tomato salsa for appetizers and southwestern meals. Do you grow or buy tomatillos when they’re in season? How about green tomatoes? If you grow tomatoes at all, you will have green tomatoes at the end of the season and this roasted salsa is one of the best ways I know of to make use of those unripe tomatoes. It really is equally good with either fruit!
Salsa is one of the best things you can have in your pantry for quick meals and snacks – it really has saved us many times from the drive-through. Every time we’re in a rush, or late coming home and really hungry, and I think grabbing some food along the way is a good idea, I remember that we always have chips, cheese and salsa and sometimes tortillas. It takes about 10 minutes to make nachos or quesadillas with salsa as our vegetables.
Of course it’s also great topping more involved meals like tacos, enchiladas and salads of grilled chicken, beans and guacamole. And that’s another reason to love having homemade salsa in your pantry – it works for so many things, right?
Making your own salsa of course means you can know exactly what’s in it and tailor it to you and your family’s liking. Only to a degree, though, if you’re planning to can: the only ingredients you can adjust/change when canning in a water-bath canner are the dry ingredients. All the fresh ingredient ratios must stay the same to remain safe.
This recipe was adapted from an extension service recipe, and by ‘adapted’ I mean roasting instead of boiling the vegetables initially to increase flavor (like our safe-to-can roasted tomato sauce), keeping the same pepper-onion ratio to tomatillos/tomatoes, but increasing the peppers and decreasing the onions, as well as adjusting the dry spices. If you would like a more garlic flavor, for instance, it will have to be added as dry garlic powder when canning or added as fresh when serving.
Of course if you’re just going to freeze this, you can add more garlic, cilantro, or whatever to your heart’s content. And it freezes great, so it’s really your choice!
- 5 c. chopped tomatillos or green tomatoes- about 2 lbs. (washed, husks removed from tomatillos)
- 3 c. coarsely chopped hot peppers: a combination of jalapeño and long green Anaheim or Ancho chilies, to your taste (I use half jalapeños and leave the seeds in because we like it spicy - use more Anaheims and remove seeds for less spice)
- 3 c. coarsely chopped onions
- 6 medium cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 c. bottled lime juice (or lemon)
- ¼ c. dried oregano
- 2 TB. salt, or to taste
- 1 Tb. ground cumin
- 2 tsp. black pepper
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Place tomatillos or green tomatoes in a large roasting pan. Add chilies, onion, garlic and mix.
- Roast vegetables for 30-40 minutes, stirring at the halfway mark, until most of the tomatillos/tomatoes are broken down.
- Scrape the roasted vegetables into a large stockpot and add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and simmer about 10 minutes. While simmering, prepare water bath canner, lids & 4 pint or 8 half-pint jars if planning to can (wash freezer-safe jars or containers for freezing, or use freezer baggies)
- Blend the salsa further, if desired, with an immersion blender and the ladle into prepared jars leaving ½-inch headspace for canning (you'll need a good 1+ inch headspace for freezing to account for expansion).
- To Can: Wipe rims, seal, and process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes. Remove jars to a cloth-lined surface and let cool 24 hours before testing the seals, labeling and storing for up to a year.
- To Freeze; let salsa cool and then transfer to prepared freezer containers. Label and freeze for a year.