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Need for Green
Apr 3, 2014
It is April, and I am experiencing winter fatigue. The weather forecast is littered with snowflakes and temperatures that still require winter coats, hats, gloves and a survival kit in my car if I dare attempt a road trip. It is cold. It is gray. It is dreary. And I am over it.
Usually I am a lover of all seasons. I rush into the first snowfall to make snow angels. My pups and I crunch through fallen leaves in the autumn. I revere the first buds on trees and watching the lawn and gardens awaken. I even worship the sun’s rays on the hottest days of summer. But I have had enough of the snow, enough of the dull and dead brown, enough of the ice, enough wind, enough brutal cold — enough of this never ending winter.
I want green. Fresh. Vibrant. Green.
There are a few blades of grass greening in my backyard, but Mother Nature threatens to dump more snow in the next few days. For now, I think I’m stuck with the green of my home-canned salsa verde.
Last summer’s garden was prolific with tomatillos. Much sauce and salsa was made, consumed, and immensely enjoyed, and my pantry shelves still boast a few prized jars of this green treasure. We use it as a base for the sauce to slowly braise a pork stew, dunk our tortilla chips and quesadillas in it and spoon it over our favorite enchiladas. It is fresh, vibrant and green — just what I am craving during these last days of an ugly long winter.
Fran Hill has been blogging about food at On My Plate since October of 2006. She, her husband and their two dogs ranch near Colome.
Salsa Verde for Home-Canning
**If you are unsure of the canning process, there are many informative sites online. I am not a canning authority.**
6 cups tomatillos, chopped
3 cups onions, chopped
3 jalapeno peppers, chopped
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup roasted green chiles, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped (divided)
1/2 cup lemon juice
3 teaspoons cumin
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Combine the tomatillos, onions, jalapenos, garlic, green chiles, HALF of the cilantro, lemon juice, cumin, salt and pepper in a large, heavy stock pot. Stir frequently until mixture begins to boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer 20 minutes.
Using an immersion blender, puree the sauce until smooth. (Alternatively, working in batches, carefully blend in a conventional blender to desired texture and return to the stock pot). Add remaining chopped cilantro and stir to combine and simmer briefly. (The cilantro could all be included prior to simmering and blending, but saving some back ensures some “pretty” deeper green flecks in the salsa.)
Ladle into sterilized jars with 1/2-inch head space and seal. Process in a hot water bath for 20 minutes. (Yield: 6 pints)
Note: Additional jalapenos can make a spicier sauce. More cumin will enhance the smokiness. Roasting the tomatillos prior to simmering offers a slightly richer and sweeter flavor. Adding roasted poblano peppers (peeled, seede, and chopped) is a deeper sauce. We had A LOT of tomatillos, and I made many variations of this recipe. This is only a basic idea and can be adjusted to your own tastes.