Salsa verde with roasted tomatillo and poblano peppers

Grilling and summer are traditionally linked, but I think fall is the best time to grill. The weather is cooler so standing next to a grill isn’t miserable, plus I have always equated the smell of smoke with autumn, maybe because of bonfires and the smell of burning leaves in the country. So, as soon as the temperature drops, my grilling and smoking gets ramped up. Over the next couple of weeks I will have several unusual grilling recipes that I will be sharing with you as well as a detailed description of how I smoke  jalapenos (chipotle) and paprika! Bet you’ve never tried that?

According to Food Product Design magazine, as of December 2000, salsa uprooted ketchup as the number one condiment in the United States. I don’t know if this is still true, but in my household it sure is. Salsa goes on everything. This is a salsa verde recipe in which I grill most of the ingredients to give the salsa a savory and smoky flavor.

Tomatillos are sometimes referred to as green tomatoes, particularly in Mexico, but they are not actually tomatoes. They are from the nightshade family which includes potatoes, eggplants and, yes, tomatoes. They grow with a paper-like husk around them that begins to split open as the fruits matures. I love the sour and sweet taste of a fresh tomatillo and think roasting enhances the flavors even more. This is the first year we have grown them and I’m hooked, so we will surely grow them every year.

This recipe can also be made in the oven by roasting the vegetables under the broiler. I prefer the grill, and I cook everything in a grill basket. If you don’t have a grill basket you can use a grill sheet or skewers, although the tomato and tomatillos get a little soft and may not stay on the skewer very well.

Roasted Salsa Verde


  • 10-12 tomatillos
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 2 poblano peppers
  • 2 jalopano peppers (less or more depending on your comfort level)
  • Juice from the quarter of a lime
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • vegetable oil for grilling/roasting


Remove discard the paper-like husk from the tomatillos. Cut the poblano and jalapeno peppers in half and discard the seeds, veins, and stems. Slice the onion into 3-4 disks or sections.

Preheat the grill and grill basket or grill sheet. Spread a little oil over the grill basket or sheet. Place the tomatillos, tomato, peppers and onions on the grill and grill until the tomato and tomatillos are soft and the peppers and onions are charred.

Remove from the grill. Core & skin the tomato and remove the charred skins from the poblano peppers (the skins of the peppers can be a little bitter, but it’s minor so this is an optional step).

Place the grilled vegetables and fruits into a food processor along with the lime juice, garlic and salt. Process until the peppers are in small chunks. Place in a bowl and stir in the cilantro.

Chill before serving. Serve with tortilla chips or corn chips. Here is how to make your own tortilla chips from corn tortillas.

To add a little more sweetness and some more fall flavor, roasted corn takes this salsa to another level!


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