Roasted Tomatillo Salsa: Settled in the Middle - Turntable Kitchen
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Roasted Tomatillo Salsa: Settled in the Middle

When Matt is away, I find myself still sleeping on the very edge of our bed. It’s funny because when we’re both in bed, Matt will often complain of me trying to dominate our space; I pull all of the sheets towards myself and tuck them tightly under my side so they’re that much harder to steal away. I sprawl out my arms and legs and not infrequently position myself in the very center of our bed. Given that Matt is 6’4 and I’m about 5’4, you can imagine how unfair this is. But as I was saying. When he’s gone — whether for a night or a few nights — I treat our Queen-sized bed as though it were a twin futon. When I wake up in the morning, I often notice that the right side of the bed is still neatly made, completely untouched. I immediately feel lonely when I see how unlived in it appears.

I’m not sure what to make of this habit, but I think it’s my way of missing him and subconsciously reminding myself that he’s not there. Not there to nudge, not there to steal the sheets from, not there to occasionally snore in my ear (only on occasion, I swear!). It feels so obvious to inch towards the middle of the bed and take advantage of my temporary aloneness. But I feel most settled in a small little corner, nearly hovering over the sideboard. Matt’s back from his recent trip home to visit family and all feels right in the world again. I’m no longer eating enormous bowls of soba noodles spiked with almond butter, fish sauce and kale, and my consumption of cookies and ice cream has gone down to a reasonable amount. And I’m back to sleeping in the middle of the bed, much to Matt’s dismay.

Speaking of familiar habits, let’s talk about salsa. Relatively speaking, we’re a salsa-loving household. But, truth be told, we don’t make a lot of salsa. I’m not sure where or how I draw the line between what I will make at home (yogurt) and what I won’t (croissants). Anyway, I’ve made salsa a few times, but always with regular tomatoes. But recently, I’ve been seeing these little jewels — tomatillos — and I got this idea in my head that I really, really wanted tomatillo salsa. Covered in a papery husk, tomatillos don’t taste anything like tomatoes. Rather, they have a citrusy bite that’s super refreshing. Since they originated in Mexico, they’re commonly found in Mexican dishes, but I believe there’s lots of room to experiment. In this recipe, they’re broiled along with a jalapeño pepper and garlic, then pureed, seasoned, and accented with some fresh cilantro. Let me tell you: a bowl of this fresh salsa won’t last long.

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Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

1 pound of tomatillos, husked
1 jalapeño, halved and seeded
2 cloves of garlic
handful of cilantro leaves
salt and pepper

1. Preheat your broiler.
2. Lay the the tomatillos, jalapeño and garlic on a baking sheet. Broil until the tomatillos are blistered.
2. Combine the roasted tomatillos, jalapeño and garlic with cilantro, salt and pepper in a food processor. Pulse to process. Season with more salt and pepper, as needed.

Musical Pairings: Matthew Dear – Beams + Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

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  1. Nicole

    September 6, 2012

    What pretty salsa! I, too, rarely make salsa, but why?? Last summer I threw together a mix of salsa ingredients from my csa, roasted it in the oven and blended it up. It was delicious and so easy! I need to get back on track with salsa making. I know what you mean about missing Matt, too. Luckily Marc and I are rarely separated, but it’s always sad to be apart!

  2. Eileen @ Ham Pie Sandwiches

    September 6, 2012

    I do the exact same thing when sleeping alone, down to the pristine untouched sheets. 🙂 That salsa looks amazing, though–salsa verde is the best ever.

  3. Nina

    September 6, 2012

    This salsa looks and sounds great and I think it is the tomatillo seeds that are so well visible, so pretty! I love how roasting brings out so much of the favour of tomatos and the tomatillos must be delicious that way too. Thank you for another simply yet special recipe!

  4. sarah kieffer

    September 6, 2012

    This looks fantastic! I haven’t made any salsa this summer, alas. I like your version. And, I think it’s sweet you keep to your side while missing your husband. 🙂

  5. Laura

    September 7, 2012

    We grew tomatillos for the first time this year and now the glut of them is insane. I’ve been trying to scheme up creative/weird ways to cook with them, but I know I’m just going to can a bunch of salsa that’ll make my heart (and tacos) happy all winter. Good inspiration, miss! 🙂

  6. Elizabeth

    September 7, 2012

    Tomatillos are some of my seasonal favorites–so sticky and strange, and somehow deliciously bitter. I love your approach for its simplicity, and I bet the char from the broiler adds incredible depth to boot.

  7. Jess O'Toole

    September 7, 2012

    We are salsa lovers too and I’ve never made my own tomatillo version. Looking forward to giving it a go!

  8. Ginger Mae

    September 7, 2012

    That is exactly what I do when my boyfriend is out of town…except I sleep on his side of the bed. I have never figured out why I do it, but it does feel more comforting for some reason. It could also be the giant dog who takes up the middle. Love tomatillo salsa! I just canned a batch of it this week. I think I will try your roasted recipe tonight!

  9. Kasey

    September 7, 2012

    I ask myself this question every time I make salsa! I find that roasting the veggies gives them an extra special tough. You and Marc are my fave. xo

  10. Kasey

    September 7, 2012

    Glad I’m not the only one 🙂

  11. Kasey

    September 7, 2012

    Thanks, Nina! I’m glad you liked this one. Always good to hear feedback 🙂

  12. Kasey

    September 7, 2012

    Thanks, Sarah! I can’t help missing him 😉

  13. Kasey

    September 7, 2012

    Would you ever pickle them? Sidenote, do you have a good canning recipe for tomatoes? I’ve been coming across some beautiful Early Girls and I really want to can them whole…

  14. Kasey

    September 7, 2012

    I hardly ever eat them/cook with them, but now I’m realizing that’s just silly…and you’re right, the char is perfect!

  15. Kasey

    September 7, 2012

    Yay for salsa lovers! Now I just need to perfect my homemade tortilla chips….

  16. Kasey

    September 7, 2012

    I love that you take over his side! Maybe another one of those subconscious missing him type things. I think it’s super sweet. Also, I wish I had a giant dog to keep me company in my husband’s absence. One day…I really need to can my salsa, apparently…so I can hold onto it all winter 🙂

  17. Aida Mollenkamp

    September 7, 2012

    Ha, I love the idea of you — a little petite thing — stealing the sheets from Matt!

  18. Laura

    September 8, 2012


    I’ve never tried pickled, whole tomatillos, but we used to always make a fantastic relish out of them at a restaurant I worked at with whole mustard seeds. Relish involves a lot of the same principles/flavor profiles as pickling so I don’t see why it wouldn’t work out.

    And I have a go-to method from my go-to resource on all canning projects for preserving tomatoes! Link here:

    One thing: instead of boiling the tomatoes in jarred tomato juice, I do mine in pureed and strained whole tomatoes. If you have access to decent tomato juice though, why not go that way? Hope that helps, lady. xo

  19. Kate Curnes-Ramos

    September 9, 2012

    I’ve been making tomato salsa all summer, but this makes me feel like it’s time to switch.

  20. Cookie and Kate

    September 9, 2012

    I’m a store-bought salsa fiend myself; I bet I could demolish this homemade salsa in no time at all! I’m so thankful for my snuggle pup, Cookie. Without her, my queen-sized bed would feel really lonely!

  21. erin @ yummy supper

    September 10, 2012

    Kasey, it’s funny how rarely we make our own salsa, despite the amount that gets consumed at our house too! Aren’t tomatillos awesome? You’re reminding me to go out at get some and to get to making some salsa too.
    By the way, your post on Sicily was amazing. So much great info and pix!

  22. Kasey

    September 10, 2012

    Thanks, Aida! I’m a fighter 😉

  23. Kasey

    September 10, 2012

    Try it, it’s totally worth it!

  24. Kasey

    September 10, 2012

    I wish I had a snuggle pup! Pretty soon I’ll have a snuggle baby, so I guess I can’t complain ;0) How funny is it that we make-everything-from-scratch people are still attached to some very basic store-bought stuff.

  25. Kasey

    September 10, 2012

    It’s hilarious how many others have said the same thing! I guess we all have to draw a line somewhere 🙂 I love tomatillos and I have honestly not used them nearly as much as I should! I’m so glad you enjoyed my Sicily post – that means a lot. Those travel roundups are always so time-intensive, but so satisfying. Hope you are well, lovely! x Kasey

  26. Kiran @

    September 11, 2012

    I truly need tomatillo in my life. That looks scrumptious 🙂

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