Thursday, August 16

The Best Green Salsa!

I've finally done it! I've successfully reverse engineered Taqueria El Favorito's (fresh) green salsa, the best salsa I've ever encountered in all my travels. Now let me tell you, I've eaten Mexican food in Mexico, Portugal (please don't even ask), France (same goes for here), Italy (and here), Venezuela, Arizona, New Mexico, and in hundreds of places across California, and I've decided that the best (fresh) green salsa comes right out of my own hometown, Santa Rosa, CA, at Taqueria El Favorito (formerly El Farolito).

I must admit that I've never been to Texas, save the airports, and I've never tried Ninfa's Green Sauce now made famous by the Houston Chronicle and the Homesick Texan who swears it's the best, but I can tell you that the recipe shown below will be much more robust in the garlic and cilantro areas, and it will keep looking fresh longer because it has lime juice which slows down the oxidation process.

Now let me explain why I keep putting (fresh) in front of green salsa. It's because I don't want to step on my brother in law's toes. Andy is already famous for his green salsa, but his is the cooked version, and it's the best damned cooked version I've ever tasted. It was a big hit during the cocktail hour at my recent wedding. Unfortunately he'll only divulge what's in it, not how much of what's in it, is in it. I can only hope that one day he'll come clean and share the secret recipe.

Back to my salsa! Where was I? Oh yes, I just wanted to let you know that my wife Mary loves this salsa so much, that today after finishing off the last of the tortilla chips, she began to eat the salsa on soda crackers. I, on the other hand, went straight for a spoon.

--The Best (Fresh) Green Salsa

*1 pound of 1" size tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and quartered
*1 bunch fresh cilantro (about 2 ounces by weight after trimming the stems), rinsed, and roughly chopped
*2 1/2 limes, squeezed
*9 cloves of garlic
*1 small white onion, chopped
*2 good size green jalapeno peppers (makes a medium spicy salsa), stemmed, and chopped
*2 avocados, sliced
*1 1/2 cups water depending on the viscosity desired
*1/2 tsp. cumin (or to taste)
*2 1/2 tsp. salt (or to taste)
*1/2 tsp. black pepper (or to taste)


1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender, except for the cumin, salt, and black pepper.

2. Blend until a smooth texture is achieved.

3. Add spices and mix thoroughly.

4. Adjust spice levels to your liking.

5. After numbing your taste buds doing too much quality control, insist that your spouse or a good friend keep testing it to see if it tastes like the real McCoy.

6. Continue this until they feel ill.

7. If they come back for more the following day, or later that night, you know you've got the real deal.

8. This recipe yields a little under a quart of salsa. Refrigerate what you don't eat right away.


swirlingnotions said...

I've had tomatillo salsa on the brain for the past week, so thank you for this recipe!

My daughter goes to daycare at the home of a Mexican family (with a big garden) and when I was there last week I spotted a big bowl of tomatillos. When I asked Emma, the mama, whether she was making salsa, she just grinned and winked. I confessed that I preferred salsa de tomatillo over salsa de tomate and she nodded in agreement.

When I returned a few hours later to pick my daughter up, there was a tray of roasted tomatillos sitting on the counter waiting for the next batch to be made and the house smelled divine. Emma handed me a huge jar of brick-red salsa (she's roasted chiles along with the tomatillos) that we've managed to polish off in just a few days. I'll have to get the recipe for that one too!

{ : experiential wine education and real conversation }

Will said...

Hi Lia,
That's a great story. You should make up a batch of this recipe, bring her over a jar of it to return the favor, and see what she thinks. I'll bet she would be mighty impressed, and start sharing some information. When you get your hands on her recipe be sure to let me know. It's ok if it's in Spanish. :)

Cheers indeed!

David Boyce said...

If I like this fresh salsa verde, I'd like to can it and send it across the country, but the only way I know to can it is to heat it.

What happens to this salsa if you simmer it in a sauce pan?

Thanks for the recipe. You're very generous as well as a gentleman and a scholar.

Susan said...

I made this, and I have to say, this is THE BEST dang salsa I have EVER had!!!!!
My husband couldn't stop eating it!!!!!
Thanks for the recipe!!!

Anonymous said...

Yuck! Tasted like bad guacamole.

Daniel said...

This is a great recipe! Very closely approximates my local El Farolito product. I hope it freezes! I wonder, however, if it might not be closer to the original with the substitution of a serrano pepper for one of the jalapenos...I added three and still it wasn't quite as hot as I'm used to. Fortunately I only made the mistake of adding tobasco to a small portion, because tobasco conflicts with the salsa verde flavor scheme. I also wonder if they might use garlic powder instead of fresh >gasp< ...since theirs seems not so chunky as this...but despite my slight reservations, this is a real winner! Thanks so much!

MyTravelPhotoBlog said...

Hey! Thanks for sharing the recipe.
I have been trying to make salsa Verde. I might try your recipe.
I from London if anyone knows where I can find good green tomatoes over here?

Anonymous said...

I wonder what this would taste like if you roasted the tomatillos first? And the jalapeno? Fire roasted!

Monica said...

You're not lying! I LOVE green salsa and this IS the best I've ever had. Thank you1

Monica said...

You're not lying! I LOVE green salsa and this IS the best I've ever had! Thank you!

Debbie said...

We LOVE it. We made three batches in one week and everyone kept asking for the recipe. I sent them the link to here. Thank You!

Anonymous said...

I think this was the worst ive ever had!
what a waste i dumped it in the trash!