garlic

Tomatillo Salsa Verde

It's mid-October. The leaves on the trees are falling, but the temperature is finding a way to hang out around 75 – 80 degrees here in Nashville. 

I shouldn't still be making salsa, but I am.

This summer I decided to plant 5 tomatillo plants. I love having tomatillos in my garden! The way they grow is the coolest thing ever with their lantern husks! The past couple of years I only planted 2, but as the flowers cannot be pollinated from flowers on the same plant, I've never had what you would call a bumper crop. 

So this year, I went crazy and planted 5. 

So far, I've made & frozen at least 40 cups of tomatillo salsa, plus the sauces that we've made and eaten right away. Of my 5 tomatillo plants, 3 of them are still going strong with flowers, bees and ripening fruit. There's no stopping them. 

Seriously. I just brought in another 10 - 15 tomatillos today. 

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The great thing about tomatillos salsa is it's easy to make, REALLY REALLY REALLY good, and very versatile. You can eat it with chips, on tacos, and the normal fare, but equally amazing on grilled chicken, pork, steak, or fish. Another way I love to use it is adding it to my salad, along with my homemade ranch dressing. Earlier this week, I even added it to a late night bowl of egg drop soup when I didn't have green onions or cilantro to mix in and it was wonderful!  

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INGREDIENTS

3 jalapeno or serrano chiles
6 medium tomatillos
2 bunches fresh cilantro
1 small white onion - quartered
6 garlic cloves
coarse salt and ground pepper
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus more to taste
1/4 cup grapeseed oil

DIRECTIONS

Cut the chiles into quarters and remove seeds. For a spicier salsa, leave a few of the seeds in. Husk and quarter the tomatillos.

Cut off the bottom 2 - 3 inches of tough stems from each cilantro bunch. Set aside the leaves and tender stems. 

Nate and I have an ongoing debate regarding the correct way to prepare cilantro. He tends to take the pile of cilantro and remove each and every leaf, stem-by-stem. There's a very good chance that he's correct and this is the proper way to work with cilantro — he knows a lot more than me when it comes to cooking — but I just can't. Many of my favorite recipes to cook include cilantro and I have never once heard a complaint or regretted just chopping off the bottom of the stems. 

You do whatever you want, but I think I'll stick to my way. 

In a food processor, throw in the chiles, tomatillos, cilantro, onion, garlic, 1 tablespoon each of salt and pepper, and 2 tablespoons lime juice. Pulse several times until combines, but still fairly chunky. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper, and lime juice as needed. The salsa should be a vibrant green color. 

Serve right away, or tightly cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. If you've made a large batch, freezing it works well. 

Enjoy!

xoxo, Lori Danelle

Tomatillo Salsa Verde

HOW TO: Mince Garlic

There are more reasons than one to add garlic to everything.

  1. It taste good

  2. It has antioxidant properties (I'm told you need to eat 2 medium cloves a day for health benefits, so put it into everything; pasta, hummus, on toast, sauteed vegetables, everything).

  3. It repels ticks, and vampires.

As stated above research has shown that you need to eat 2 medium cloves per day for maximum health benefits, that's a lot of garlic for an average family of four. In our house we eat that much easy, (if you follow Lori on Instagram (@loridanelle) you know this) but all that mincing can be time consuming if you don't know how to mince garlic quickly. Read on and I'll show you how we mince garlic for dinner every night. Step 1: Remove the clove of garlic from the bulb, and smash it with the side of a sturdy knife.

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Step 2 Peel the clove, and cut away hard brown bottom of clove. You'll see that once you remove the garlic's skin, and cut away the hard bottom of the garlic, half of the mincing is already done.

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Step 3: Cross cut the garlic to you liking. This is where some of the knife skills I picked up working prep line in a restaurant in college come in handy.  Choke up on the knife, hold the blade with your thumb and index finger, this will give you the most control over the blade. Then holding the cloves with the "claw" cross cut the garlic once. Next, use your non-dominate hand to rock the blade, cross cutting the garlic until you are satisfied with yourself.

Step 4: Gobble up that yummy garlic.

Go slow at first your knife skill will get quicker; chopping takes practice.