Vegetables: Tomatillo Salsa

Excerpted from A Garden of Recipes by Cynthia Gibson

This very green salsa is soothing to the palate on hot summer days and tastes as refreshing as it looks -- it’s not just another pretty dip. This Mexican specialty can also be used as a sauce with fish or chicken, but tastes best in its simple form, served with tortilla chips. I predict this recipe will become a summer favorite!

1 pound tomatillos, husks removed
3 garlic cloves
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1/3 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
Salt and pepper
Tabasco (optional)

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat, then add a pinch of salt and stir. Drop in the tomatillos and garlic, return the water to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes, or until the tomatillos turn lighter in color. Drain in a colander, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.

Using a food processor fitted with the steel blade, puree the tomatillos and garlic with the reserved cooking liquid and the cilantro. transfer to a bowl and stir in the onion and bell pepper. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If you want a spicy salsa, add a dash or more of tabasco. Serve chilled in a bowl, placed in a basket surrounded by tortilla chips.

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