CSA Cooking: Roasted Tomatillo and Banana Pepper Salsa

August Philly Foodworks box

My August Philly Foodworks box landed last Thursday. It contained a big bunch of beets, one naughty eggplant, a nice head of lettuce, a jewel melon, a couple red onions, 12 ounces of sweet banana peppers, a pound of tomatillos, a pint of cherry tomatoes, and a few gorgeous heirloom tomatoes.

peppers tomatillos

I first turned my attention to the peppers and tomatillos. My summer thus far has been entirely bereft of fresh salsa and I felt that it was time to change that.

veg after roasting

I have found that you can make consistently delicious salsas without a recipe by throwing a combination of peppers, tomatillos or tomatoes, onion, and garlic into a baking pan, roasting them at high heat (400 to 450 degrees F works pretty well) until you get some nice char and then throwing it all in a blender with some salt and lime juice.

roasted veg in blender

This version was 12 ounces of banana peppers, a pound tomatillos, five cloves of garlic, the juice of one lime, and a very generous pinch of kosher salt. Had there been some cilantro in the crisper drawer, I would have thrown that in, but sadly there was none. Once roasted, I did let everything cool down until handleable, so that I could pluck the heat-loosened skins off the peppers.

roasted and pureed veg

Once pureed, this salsa is an amazing meal starter. Sure, you can dip chips in it and call it done. However, you could also plunk a couple pounds of chicken thighs in a saucepan, cover them with the salsa, braise them until tender, and shred them with forks. You could also use it as an enchilada sauce. Or make yourself a veggie-laden quesadilla and smother them with your tomatillo salsa. So many options!

one pint of salsa

Oh, and just to make it clear, this salsa isn’t designed to be canned in a boiling water bath canner. My batch made a single pint jar, which we’ll use up around here in no time. If you want to make a shelf stable tomatillo salsa, there are recipes in both my cookbooks!

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5 Responses to CSA Cooking: Roasted Tomatillo and Banana Pepper Salsa

  1. 1
    SweetDoubleD says:

    nice recipe. will have to try the oven roasting… my wife, a mexican, will roast the veggies of choice in a cast iron skillet and then puree in a blender.

  2. 2
    KimL says:

    I’ve done this, too, but I put the veggies under the broiler for about six minutes per side. It goes much faster than roasting.

  3. 3
    Andigrif says:

    Sounds great, we have a bunch of tomatoes from our CSA, I’ve never thought of roasting them first.

  4. 4
    Eileen says:

    This salsa is a fantastic idea! I’m tempted to make some with the peppers in my fridge right now. The only problem is that we’re going out of town tomorrow…do you think I can eat the entire jar in one day? For science. 🙂 (Actually, this sounds like it would freeze pretty well too.)

  5. 5
    Christina says:

    Mmm, I love tomatillo salsa. We use it as an enchilada sauce all the time. I have bought tomatillos to can for the last couple years, and this year actually planted some in the garden. The plants have gone crazy – seriously, I think they’re about to explode – and very soon, I will have a bunch of canning to do. Can’t wait!

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