September 21, 2010
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The tomatillo (Physalis philadelphica), like the tomato it resembles, is a member of the nightshade family that also includes potatoes, eggplant, and tobacco. It is most common in Mexican cooking where it is used in green, citrusy salsas. Note that I call this recipe “Tomatillo Sauce” not “Salsa” because is it a base not a finished product. Frozen this sauce is a good way to preserve the goodness of fresh tomatillos for use over the winter.
2 pounds or more of tomatillos
Place a rack about 4 inches below broiler and preheat broil on high. Husk and rinse the tomatillos. Place them stem side down in a broiling pan or on a sheet pan with a rim to collect the juices. Broil until the skins are blistered and blacked, 5 to 10 minutes. Turn over and continue broiling until the tops are also blistered and blackened. Remove from the broiler and set aside to cool.
When cool enough to handle, place the tomatillos and the juices from the pan into a food processor and reduce to a coarse puree, working in batches if need be. Allow the puree to cool in a large bowl in the refrigerator. When cool, pack into 2-cup screw top freezer jars and freeze for up to several months.
To use the sauce, simply thaw it and add to whatever ingredients are called for in your salsa recipe.