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Fresh Salsa

June 15, 2010

For Christmas last year, I asked for any gently used cookbook written by Mollie Katzen.  Fortunately, my cookbook library increased four fold in one holiday season!

To say that I like Mollie Katzen is an understatement.  I trust her.  I admire her.  I will eat anything with her name attached.

So when I came home with a pound of tomatillos ready to be transformed into a delicious latin meal, I was just a little bummed to realize that of all four of my Moosewood Collection cookbooks, not one recipe was to be found containing this ingredient.  Bummed.   I had, after all, never cooked with tomatillos and could think of no better introduction to the vegetable than one via a recipe from Mollie.

And then I remember a little secret of mine.  I’m friends with Mollie on Facebook.  Wow.  Friends with a celebrity!  So I gathered up the courage to ask her for a great tomatillo sauce/salsa recipe.  And boy oh boy did she come through for me!  Honestly, I was surprised by the small number of ingredients in this recipe and the use of parsley rather than cilantro.  But that’s what is so great about Mollie’s cooking: her recipes are often simple and highlight the beautiful flavors of food itself while using (perhaps) unexpected combinations.  This recipe should not be changed a bit.  It is fresh, bright, and perfect.  And although this is my first attempt at homemade salsa, I won’t even bother looking for another recipe.


Only the freshest sweetest garden tomatoes should be used in this recipe.  It is essential to have top notch tomatoes to balance the bright tartness of the tomatillos.

Mollie Katzen’s Unbeatable Salsa
1/2 pound (+) very ripe tomatoes (1 cup chopped)
6 ounces tomatillos (5 medium- 1 cup minced)
1/8 salt (maybe more)
Handful of finely minced flat-leaf parsley
Cayenne or minced fresh chile (1 small serrano)

Combine minced tomatoes and tomatillos in a medium-small bowl with 1/8 teaspoon salt . Let sit for about 30 to 40 minutes (longer okay) to bring out flavor and juices. Add more salt to taste, if you think it needs some, plus parsley, and chile or cayenne. Serve cold or at room temperature.

* I combined all ingredients and pulsed in my food processor to reach the perfect consistency.

Additional notes from MK:
Tomatillos have a very clean, fresh, sour taste. Use the ripest, sweetest tomatoes in season to complement the tomtillos. parlsey, but not cilantro. It’s nice to have a tomato salsa without cilantro once in a while!
Time saver: It’s not necessary to peel and seed the tomatoes. The extra texture is good in here.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. June 15, 2010 10:57 am

    that’s so awesome that you’re FB friends with Mollie! I feel the same way about her and Moosewood… love it all! the salsa looks great, so fresh and cool for summer!

  2. mama permalink
    June 16, 2010 7:57 am

    one of the npr shows i listen to on saturday had an owner of a restaurant associated with moosewood on last week. where is this community?

  3. brannyboilsover permalink*
    June 16, 2010 8:11 am

    You must have been listening to Splendid Table! Sorry I missed it. The original restaurant is in Ithica, NY — ring a bell?

  4. June 19, 2010 12:21 am

    That is a great story and great blog post. I love Molly Katzen too and like that you used the word “trust”. I do trust her. How great that she came through for you with a tomatillo recipe.

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