“A tangy, cilantro-scented sauce used in countless Mexican recipes. Turn it into a table salsa by boosting the heat and adding chopped onion and fresh cilantro (see the variation below). Recipe by: Roberto Santibanez | from Rosa's New Mexican Table: Friendly Recipes for Festive Meals.”
4 cups

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 2 lbs tomatillos, husked and washed
  • 2 jalapenos
  • 3 small garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 bunch cilantro, thick bottom stems removed and the remainder washed and shaken dry (see Note 1)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt (to taste)


  1. Put the tomatillos and jalapenos in a medium saucepan, pour in enough cold water to barely cover (about 3 1/2 cups) and bring to a boil. Cook until the jalapenos are soft and the tomatillos are tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for 15 minutes to finish cooking the inside of the tomatillos.
  2. Drain the tomatillos and chiles (gently, to avoid breaking up the tomatillos) in a colander. Wipe out the saucepan and set aside. Put the tomatillos, jalapenos, garlic and cumin in a blender jar and blend for a few seconds, just until the tomatillos are coarsely chopped. Add the cilantro (see Note 1 below) and blend until the sauce is smooth and speckled with finely chopped cilantro. Do not over blend, or you will grind the tomatillo seeds and make a thick-and-pasty rather than smooth-and-shiny sauce.
  3. Heat the oil in the cleaned pan over medium heat. Pour in the salsa, bring to a simmer, and simmer until lightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Season with the salt. The sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat over low heat before using.
  4. Note 1: When trimming, washing, and drying the cilantro, keep it more or less in bunch form, then add the bunch to the blender jar stems down; they will quickly be pulled into the liquid and chopped, avoiding over blending.
  5. Note 2: VARIATION Green Salsa For the Table.
  6. Coarsely grind 2 roasted and peeled jalapenos with a large pinch of salt in a molcajete or in a mortar with a pestle. Stir in 2 cups cooled Cooked Green Salsa, 1/2 cup finely chopped white onion, 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro and salt to taste. (Alternatively, blend the chopped jalapenos and sauce in a blender jar using quick on/off pulses just until the jalapenos are coarsely chopped. Scrape into a bowl and stir in the onion, cilantro, and salt.) Let stand for 1 hour before serving.

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