Sunday, September 14, 2008

Splendid Salsa & Women of Taste

I've been making salsa from scratch lately. This one was really good, and tasty, kind of tart, and a nice spice to it. It was made using tomatillos from the farmer's market. They look kind of like green tomatoes with a papery husk. But the plant isn't related to tomato at all (same family, different genus). They are funny little fruits and kind of sticky when you take the husk off. I actually grew them from seed one year in my strawberry patch, the plants are kind of sparse and don't make a lot of shade, so it worked out pretty well.
In this first picture, I was missing a major ingredient, the cilantro! OOps... The second picture shows the true color and taste we were looking for.

Here's the super easy recipe for the salsa from The Passionate Vegetarian by Crescent DragonWagon, one of my fave vegetarian cookbooks.
Tomatillo Salsa Verde
  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh tomatillos, husks removed
  • 1/2 large onion, quartered
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves and stems, coarsley chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 to 2 fresh serrano chiles or jalapeno peppers, stemmed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Combine all the ingredients in a food processor. Buzz until smooth. That's it finito! Now is that fast or what?

I first encountered Crescent DragonWagon (awesome name eh?) in an art quilt/chef exhibit, called Women of Taste, it was a benefit for a great organization called Girls,Incorporated of Alameda County, the exhibit traveled around the country through the Smithsonian. She was paired with quilt artist Nancy Halpern . who was inspired by the chef's evocative name. C&T Publishing put out a great book of the exhibit which is worth finding
as it has great pictures, and a record of the collaboration, letters back and forth between artist and chef. Very interesting.


Anonymous said...

Try this with your next batch -- before you whizz everything together, roast your tomatillos, either in a very hot (500) oven for a few minutes, or by turning them back and forth over a gas flame on the stove (Alex would love this task, I'm sure). Of course, this assumes you like a sort of burned taste in your salsa, like I do! (P.S. The bathroom curtain looks great.)

Lunaea said...

Okay, that was NOT supposed to be anonymous.

Dara said...

Love the curtains and the recipes! Wow, a blast from the past with Crescent's name. I first read her work in the early 70's in a magazine - I don't think it was a food article, but it could have been. The name stayed with me. Nice to reconnect and learn about her.