Have you ever cooked with fresh tomatillos? They were domesticated in Mexico and are a staple in Mexican cuisine. When you buy them at the store or market, they're covered in a papery husk that you easily peel away. Underneath you'll find what looks like a small green tomato. They're a member of the nightshade family, but not kin to tomatoes. They have a denser, drier, acidic flesh. Use them raw either diced or blended into a sauce, and you get a clean, tart flavor. Roast them, as I do in the recipe below, and you get slightly less acidic and deeply savory notes. Tomatillos have a high pectin content that, once roasted and blended, helps naturally thicken the sauce.
Once you make Roasted Tomatillo Salsa (known as Salsa Verde), it's one of those sauces you'll realize you'd like to always have in the fridge. It's zippy and spicy (though you can control the spice level) and will brighten any meal you pair it with. Aside from the Huevos Rancheros recipe here, we also add it to tacos, stir it into guacamole, chili or a fresh corn salad, and spoon over scrambled eggs or an omelet. If you can't find fresh, you might be able to find canned. If neither are available to you, you'll want to make this green salsa recipe on the blog. With cilantro, scallions, chili and lime, it's similar to a raw salsa verde.
Huevos Rancheros with Salsa Verde
Notes: This is a guide rather than a recipe. As a rough estimate, prepare 1-2 tortillas / eggs per person.
Feta, queso fresca or cotija cheese
Red onion, sliced or diced
Salsa Verde (recipe below)
Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add a few pats of ghee or a generous drizzle of avocado oil to pan. Shallow fry one corn tortilla until browned (2-3 minutes on each size). Remove to a paper towel-lined plate.
Turn heat to medium/medium-low. Crack an egg in the pan, season with salt and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes, or until egg white firms up. Cover with lid so yolk steams until slightly firmer but still runny. (~1- 2 more minutes)
Place fried tortilla on plate. Spread a generous spoonful of salsa verde evenly over tortilla. Top with egg, avocado, red onion, cheese, and cilantro. Serve immediately.
Makes a lot!
Notes: Recipe calls for fresh tomatillos. If you can only find canned tomatillos, skip the roasting step and saute onion and garlic before adding everything to the blender. If you can't find canned or fresh tomatillos, make this sauce instead.
10 medium tomatillos
1 small red onion, roughly chopped
2 large cloves garlic, with peel on
1 tsp. ground cumin
1-2 serrano chilies, depending on spice level desired, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
Juice of 1 lime, or to taste
Small bunch cilantro (20 gr)
Preheat oven to 450. Line a baking tray with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
Peel paper husks away from tomatillos and rinse under cold water to remove sticky film.
Quarter tomatillos and place on lined tray with onion and whole, unpeeled garlic cloves. Drizzle with avocado oil or another high heat cooking oil. Roast 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.
Remove peel from garlic. Transfer everything to a blender or large food processor, along with any juices that accumulated on the tray. Add cumin, chili, salt, lime, and cilantro. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust for seasoning.
* Tomatillos provided by Bay Area Herbs. All opinions are my own.