I’ve mentioned a time or two that I’m from Logan, Utah and I know we have a lot of readers with Cache Valley ties. Which means we probably have at least one thing in common…because it’s virtually impossible to visit, let alone live in Logan without visiting El Sol at least once. And if you’ve eaten at El Sol, I’m sure you’ve eaten their chips and salsa. And if you’ve eaten their chips and salsa, you’re probably wondering WHY I’m bringing this up on my blog.

My family ate out a lot when I was growing up, especially after my mom died. And before Logan started really growing, our dining options were pretty limited–Fredrico’s Pizza, Angie’s, The Lofthouse Cafe (they had killer burgers and fries, although I’m pretty sure we were the only people who ate there who didn’t also have a naked ladies calendar hanging in their garage), The Factory, Mandarin Gardens, and, of course, El Sol. And we ate at El Sol a lot. Like first-name-basis a lot. Really, it was my only exposure to Mexican food, so I didn’t know that real salsa doesn’t use ketchup as its base. Note: before anyone flames me, let me say that I have nothing but the fondest memories of El Sol and I will admit that while their salsa is notoriously not good, it is strangely addictive.

Imagine my surprise when new Mexican restaurants moved into town with their fresh ingredients and fancy green salsa. At first I didn’t want to try it because I thought it would be too hot and because, well, it was green. But pretty soon, I was a convert. I love the tanginess of the tomatillos and freshness of the cilantro.


Because tomatillos taste a little, well, raw (plus SUPER tangy), I toss the tomatillos in fat free cooking spray (like I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter spray if you’re wondering what I’m talking about) to take the edge off and add a little sweetness, but I add fresh cilantro and chopped green onions to keep that fresh flavor.

They only roast for about 15 minutes–enough time to do something productive like a load of dishes (or less productive, like a few games of Doodle Jump on my phone). When they’re done, they need to cool for just a few minutes, but they cool off super fast. Just transfer the roasted veggies to your blender jar and add some fresh lime juice, salt, and pepper and pulse it until it’s as smooth (or not) as you want it.
After you’ve blended the salsa, transfer it to a serving dish and stir in some chopped cilantro and chopped green onions.
Yumminess. And fat free. And almost calorie free. Well, except for the chips. Can’t beat that, right?

So what else could you do with it?

–Try it in Sara’s Creamy Lime-Cilantro Dressing in place of the bottled green salsa (which, by the way, will never taste good to you again after making this recipe).
–Use it as a marinade for chicken, fish, or pork tenderloin before grilling.
–Use it as a dip for your eggs, breakfast burritos, or Overnight Sausage and Egg Casserole.


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35comments

  1. 1
    foggogs says:

    not sure where to get tomatillos here in new england ?but i am going to give it a shot so i can try this. your recipes never disappoint!

  2. 2
    Kelli says:

    I'm from Logan, and still live here. Guess I've never known you were from Logan too. How fun! Oh, Good old El Sol, the High School hang out back in the day. Guess my palate has changed a lot because I can hardly hack it now, but good memories!

  3. 3
    Kate @ Our Best Bites says:

    Kelli, that's too funny! What high school did you go to? I went to Logan and graduated in '99. The last time I went to El Sol was in '04 when I was pregnant with my first and at that point, I knew I could never go back, hahahaha.

  4. 4
    The Double Dipped Life says:

    This just looks fabulous! I've been wanting to make my own verde, and now I have the perfect recipe (yours always are!) Thanks!

  5. 5
    Sara @ Our Best Bites says:

    Oh Kate that looks so good. SO good.

  6. 6
    Lillian says:

    Oh I haven't made tomatillo salsa this summer…..YUM… The ingredients and process of this recipe is very close to what I do. I don't measure, though and I also roast some roma tomotoes as well. Oh, and I don't put them in the oven to roast. I turn on my cast iron griddle, put some foil on and toast the tomatillos, tomatoes, garlic (with the husk on), jalapeno(s) and the onions on the griddle. Of course, you'll need to turn them over so they blister all over and your house will fill with the smell as well. Then I add them to the blender. YUM YUM

  7. 7
    Kimi Jean says:

    I made a recipe simimlar to this last week, but I added 2 roasted anaheim chiles and about 3 TBSPs of brown sugar. So yummy!

  8. 8
    Evelyn Campbell Curtis says:

    I grew up in Idaho, just 1 1/2 hours away from Logan. We would frequent Logan often. My favorite places is the cheese factory, and a Korean BBQ restaurant called, ironically, Korean BBQ on Main St. It is THE best! I recommend it highly…

  9. 9
    Kelli says:

    Kate, I went to Mountain Crest (I grew up in Providence) and graduated in '97.
    Evelyn, thanks for suggesting Korean BBQ because I would never walk in there just on a whim. Now I dare ;)

  10. 10
    Evelyn Campbell Curtis says:

    I could recommend some dishes even. My brother lived in Korea for a few years, so he speaks the language fluently and can navigate his way around the Korean cuisine. He taught me in the ways… :) I just wish I could speak the language too!

  11. 11
    Erin says:

    We went to El Sol so often growing up that I'm sure you and I crossed paths unknowingly at one point or another!

    This recipe looks so good.

  12. 12
    Britt says:

    I've been reading and enjoying your blog for almost a year now and didn't know you were from Logan. I'm in Logan too. Thanks for sharing all of your delicious recipes!

    Last time I ate at El Sol was in 2005 and I got food poisoning!

  13. 13
    Jen says:

    JUST made this and it is yummy!! I added an extra lime to see if I could tame the taste just a tad (I have lots of little kiddies). We'll see how they like it! Thanks!

  14. 14
    Rachel says:

    Awesome recipe! I've always preferred El Toro to the "el hole" which is what we always called it. And finally someone who will appreciate the humor in the fact that my date took me to Lofthouse Cafe for dinner the night of Senior Ball. Imagine walking into that place in a formal . . .

  15. 15
    CiderHouseLane says:

    We went to El Sol just Monday. About the only way to eat the 'salsa' if you can call it that is to get a side of sour cream and guacamole to coat it. We had a Happenings coupon to buy 1/get 1 meal free.

    I prefer to get the huge tortillas from Bountiful Baskets and make my own sweet pork salad and dressing and salsa.

    We had the Tortellini Pasta Salad for dinner last night and it is a keeper. Husband LOVES garlic so the dressing was a hit.

  16. 16
    Kate @ Our Best Bites says:

    I love hearing from everybody from Cache Valley!!

    Evelyn–So small world of small worlds, the people who own the Korean BBQ in Logan bought the house I lived in when I was a kid! And I'm pretty sure that based on your maiden name and proximity of your hometown to Logan, I was friends with some of your relatives. But that's all just a guess… :) Are you related to the Campbell Scientific Campbells?

    Erin–It HAD to have happened, either at El Sol or The Italian Place!

    Rachel–I LOVE that your senior prom dinner was at Lofthouse. What a hilarious memory!

    CiderHouse–I'm glad the salad was a hit!

    To everyone else: Thanks so much for your input and excitement about salsa verde! It's been a little quiet around here, so I'm glad to see a little bit of life! :)

  17. 17
    Evelyn Campbell Curtis says:

    Well, it is funny, but I am not related to any other Campbells in that part of Idaho. Most of my original ancestors moved away to Arizona… which aren't many, since in my particular family line, there were only a two boys in my dad's family, and his brother only had two boys. My family is the only one to have 4 heirs to the Campbell name.

    But who knows! Maybe there is some distant relation! :)

    I love the area, and that is funny how small the world gets when we begin sharing and communicating! Very cool about the Korean family. They are very nice, although I do not know them by name…my brother might!

  18. 18
    Hinterlands says:

    It had to a Citrus Mahi Mahi my hubby grilled for me. YUM!!

    Marjorie

  19. 19
    Ladybird says:

    Jeri Hastings from Gresham, OR, originally from Chalmette, just outside of New Orleans.

    I have discovered that my favorite veggie is asparagas, followed closely by brussel sprouts, both of which are grown here in abundance.

    I bought one of those new George Forman grills with the removeable plates and I take the good parts of the asparagus (compost the other) and put it in a plastic back with Benoit's Best (salt-free) seasoning. You can buy it in New Orleans or get it online at some of the cajun markets. I also add olive oil and parmesian or asiago or some combination thereof. And then just grill them. I use the Forman, but my daughter does them on her big grill. You can add salt and pepper and garlic if you don't have a good seasoning mix.

    I do the same thing with brussel sprouts. Just cut them in half and cook away.

    So that's my favorite grilling for the summer.

  20. 20
    Ladybird says:

    Jeri Hastings from Gresham, OR, originally from Chalmette, just outside of New Orleans.

    I have discovered that my favorite veggie is asparagas, followed closely by brussel sprouts, both of which are grown here in abundance.

    I bought one of those new George Forman grills with the removeable plates and I take the good parts of the asparagus (compost the other) and put it in a plastic back with Benoit's Best (salt-free) seasoning. You can buy it in New Orleans or get it online at some of the cajun markets. I also add olive oil and parmesian or asiago or some combination thereof. And then just grill them. I use the Forman, but my daughter does them on her big grill. You can add salt and pepper and garlic if you don't have a good seasoning mix.

    I do the same thing with brussel sprouts. Just cut them in half and cook away.

    So that's my favorite grilling for the summer.

  21. 21
    KC says:

    Okay… I laughed out loud when I read about El Sol! I grew up in Logan too and that was my first Mexican food experience as well and how we loved it… I've been back a time or two and cannot believe I liked the salsa… it is Ketchup with a kick! ha ha…I do still love a good Ham & Cheese Salad from Fred's though! Thanks for the recipe, I will definitely try it!

  22. 22
    Miki says:

    I made this salsa today and it was SO GOOD!! I think it's the best fresh salsa I have ever made! I tried another recipe before with fresh tomatillos and it was sour tasting. I think the roasting made it taste so much better. Thank you and keep up the great work!!

  23. 23
    penniesonaplatter.com says:

    I love green salsa as well. Thanks for the recipe!

  24. 24
    haylee says:

    My favorite thing I ate this summer was roasted rutabaga fries with season salt and ketchup! YUM!!

  25. 25
    The Nelsen Family: says:

    Corn on the cob with anything grilled! Yummmm.

  26. 26
    slugolicious says:

    If you can grow tomatoes in your garden, you can easily grow tomatillos. In fact, you can grow them even if you don't want to grow them. I planted a few plants 2 years ago and had buckets of tomatillos. I couldn't eat them or give them away fast enough. I decided not to plant them last year or this year but they still came back! I guess the few tomatillos that fell off the plant that I left on the ground sprouted the following year. I've been making salsa with them for quite some time. I let my jalapenos turn red on the plant (just like letting a green bell pepper turn red if you wait to pick it). I don't think the red does anything to the hotness but it adds a nice splash of color against the green tomatillos. I pulse everything in the food processor so it's about relish size pieces. I don't blend it smooth.

  27. 27
    Kalie says:

    Can you can this stuff? I just bought aa TON of fresh produce (if you’ve never heard of bountifulbaskets.org, look it up!!!) and am looking for a few salsa recipes to can. Also, can you can pico de gallo?

    • 27.1

      I’m sure you CAN can (haha) it, I just don’t know how, exactly. I’d see if you can find a canning pro who can help you out! :)

      As far as pico, I probably wouldn’t, just because the whole point of it is the fresh taste, you know?

  28. 28

    thnks for the recipes last year i started growing tomatillos and i just love there fragile lantern look to them and tried makeing salsa but need more practice so i will try your recipe thnks

  29. 29
    Linda Smith says:

    Just made this Whoa!!!! this is good. Never used tomatillos before but so glad they came in my Bountiful Basket. This was quick and easy to make and best of all good. Thanks

  30. 30
    Melissa says:

    I made this salsa this weekend and it was a HUGE hit! My mom cannot eat tomatoes at all, she is severely allergic, this was a great alternative for her. I used it in the Creamy Chicken Taquitos, which are always awesome, and also in the Cilantro Lime Ranch dressing/dip. This was an incredible meal! We had about 20 people, and everyone loved it!! My mom and sister even decided that they want your cook book, which I have been trying to convince them they needed for a while now! Oh, and I tripled the salsa recipe, and it was ALL gone!! Thanks again for a fabulous recipe, of course I’ll be making it again!

  31. 31
    Lindsey says:

    This is a fantastic recipe! Thanks so much for sharing. We love tomatillos around here, and we absolutely LOVED this salsa.

  32. 32
    Holly says:

    Oh, how we love, love, LOVE this salsa!!! It is way better than any incarnation of green salsa that we have tried. It is also super easy, so thank you so much! The one thing I changed was how I prepare the tomatillos. They never get unsticky with just water, so I wash them with some Dawn and then rinse them really well. I promise my salsa doesn’t taste like soap!

  33. 33
    Leela says:

    Hi ~ We grew tomatillos for the first time this year. Most recipes I’ve seen online have the roasted veggies peeled before blending. I like that this recipe is simpler and omits that step. Am going to try it out tomorrow.

  34. 34

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