Tomatillos, a.k.a. Green Magic

From the kitchen of Co-op member-owner Cynthia Foster

Iowa is a state where tomatillos grow well. The problem is that most people only think of them for salsa. While the salsa is great and I have a few recipes if you want one, the real magic happens when you roast a combination of tomatillos, onions, carrots, red bell pepper, and a few cloves of garlic. Place these roasted vegetables in a food processor and chop until it is a very thick sauce. Then your seasoning – salt and pepper to taste. Now you have a cooking sauce that will go over chicken, pork chops, and fish or in some casseroles and soups. It’s tangy and can be used to make over tried and true old recipes. See below for the cooking sauce and a delicious recipe to go with it.

Tomatillo Cooking Sauce


  • 6 tomatillos (remove paper hulls, wash in warm water and cut into quarters)
  • 1 large sweet onion  (quartered)
  • 2 cloves of garlic or more (I like lots of garlic)
  • 1 red bell pepper (quartered after removing stem and seeds)
  • 1 large carrot  (chopped into 1-inch chunks)
  • 1 jalapeño (cut in half, seeds and stem removed – this is optional and is added for heat. 1 jalapeño brings mild heat, 2 = medium, 3 = hot, and 4 means bring out the fire extinguisher!)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • ½ tsp. salt


  1. Place all chopped and quartered vegetables in a roast pan.
  2. Mix olive oil, Italian seasoning, and salt with a whisk.
  3. Drizzle the olive oil over vegetables.
  4. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes at 425 degrees.
  5. Cool for 5 minutes.
  6. Blend in food processor until mixture is like a very thick sauce.
  7. Season to taste.

Salmon with Tomatillo Sauce


  • 4-6oz. portions of salmon (One per person), rinsed and patted as dry as possible
  • Salt and Paprika to sprinkle on each portion of fish
  • 1-2 lemons, sliced very thin
  • A few pieces of fresh dill or fresh cilantro
  • Parchment paper


  1. Preheat oven to 375°
  2. Lay each portion of fish on a separate piece of parchment paper. Sprinkle each side with the salt and paprika. Cover each portion with lemon slices. Finally, place dill or cilantro on each portion of fish.
  3. Fold up the parchment paper into packages and place in a baking dish or on a sheet pan. Bake for 12 – 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the portions.
  4. Remove salmon from parchment packages and put on plates.
  5. Spoon tomatillo sauce over each portion and garnish with lime wedges.

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