Tomatillo Coconut Salsa
Gorgeous tomatillos are all over the markets right now, and I've got tomatillo salsa on the mind. Sure, I could push myself outside the box to think of additional uses for these beautiful green tomatillos...but why? If it's not broke, don't fix it. Tomatillo salsa is so satisfying, and goes with anything, from breakfast with black beans and eggs, to drizzled over lamb chops or roasted green beans for dinner. Hopefully you caught those gorgeous bubbly tomatillos on my Instagram stories, which prompted a friend to ask, "are you going Mexican or Indian remix?" This was a question I just loved, and the answer is Always. Indian. Remix.
This tomatillo salsa uses cast-iron charred tomatillos, adds crispy shallots and garlic, toasted coconut, wildly aromatic cumin, and espelette chili to create a tiny riff on classic tomatillo salsa. I crisped up the shallots and garlic in olive oil to add an additional layer of sweet and aromatic flavor, toasted coconut flakes to thicken the salsa and add a coconut undertone, incredibly pungent and citrusy Afghani cumin to complement the citrus notes of tomatillos, and espelette chili to add a little heat. The tomatillos and husks enchanted me for a full day, as light entered these gorgeous husks like lanterns at all different times of day.
I love getting this beautiful salsa to you just in time for a weekend of summer grilling! Enjoy!
14 tomatillos, husks removed and washed
2 shallots, thinly sliced into circles
6 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1/3 cup coconut flakes
1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds (I used wild mountain cumin from Oaktown Spice, Burlap & Barrel)
1 tbsp espelette chili powder (piment d'ville, aleppo, marash work as well)
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp kosher salt + more to taste
2 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Char tomatillos for at least three minutes on each side in a lightly oiled cast-iron skillet (I sprayed a teeny bit of grapeseed oil on the pan). Tomatillos should be blackened on both sides. In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat, and toss with shallots. Cook shallots for about 5 minutes, until edges are starting to brown. Make sure the shallots aren't frying too quickly. At that point, add garlic slices. Stir frequently, about every 30 seconds to prevent sticking to the pan. When shallots and garlic slices are beginning to crisp (after 4 minutes for me), add cumin seeds, coconut flakes, and espelette chili. Stir frequently until coconut flakes are lightly browned and cumin aromatic, about 2-3 minutes. Add everything to a blender, including salt and lime juice, and pulse until salsa is combined but still chunky. Add more salt to taste!
Pour over everything, from roasted veggies to roasted chicken, and of course as an addition to guacamole or tacos. Have a beautiful weekend everyone!