I was strolling through the farmer’s market a few weeks ago and there was this stall that had really nice, fresh tomatillos and right next to it they were selling bags of assorted peppers. They were basically begging me to buy both, chop them up, season it, and put it on a chip.
I was a bit worried that this would be too bitter as tomatillos can be kind of bitter, but it was actually nice. It was a lot different than a normal pico de gallo recipe, but sometimes different is good!
1) Wash everything, dice it up, and add it to a bowl with the lime juice and a pinch of salt.
2) Make a fantastic guacamole by mushing up two avocados and mixing in a good amount of the pico de gallo.
These are strange little things. If you’ve never worked with them before they come with a almost papery wrapper around them. They’re also a bit sticky.
Kind of weird.
Tomatillos have two main traits to them: they’re crunchy and they’re bitter. Both of these work great in a salsa luckily.
Once you get all the paper wrappers off of the tomatillos, they’re actually easier to chop than tomatoes because they hold together nicely.
If you wanted I guess you could put everything in a food processor, but I decided to just chop everything by hand. I wanted to make sure I had a nice chunky texture to it and sometimes I have a heavy hand with the food processor and end up with more of a paste than a salsa.
It doesn’t take long to dice up the tomatillos though.
I’m very serious when I say that the stand at the farmer’s market was just selling bags of random peppers. I could identify some of them, but some were a mystery to me. No matter what though, I knew they’d be great in a salsa.
Anytime you’re using peppers that you don’t know, I really recommend trying a very tiny (very tiny!) bite of them raw. You want to make sure that your end result isn’t too hot to eat or not hot enough. I tried every single one of these peppers and there was luckily a really nice mix of hot ones and mild ones. So I just used all of them!
If you aren’t lucky enough to find a random assortment of peppers, you can use your favorite from the store. I recommend getting some different colors and heat levels just for a good mix.
I chopped up some garlic also.
One key to remember about peppers: If you use the seeds and white interior parts of the peppers, your end salsa will be much spicier. So if you want to cut down the heat, take out the seeds and white interior part. Again, I went the moderate route here and seeded some of my peppers but left the seeds in some as well.
Add some lime juice and salt and you’re all set!
This pico had a serious bite to it, but I really liked it. It got even better on day two once all the flavors melded even more.
The thing about this pico is that it’s difficult to eat a lot of it because the tomatillos are almost aggressively bitter. I like that kind of thing, but it might be too much for some people.
The solution to this bitter problem (if it’s a problem for you) is to mix in some of this pico into 2 mushed avocados. The creaminess from the avocados cuts the bitterness of the tomatillos perfectly. I didn’t photograph it, but this stuff made some of the best guacamole I’ve ever had.
At the end of the day, it’s really hard to go wrong with fresh pico de gallo. It’s the perfect thing for a summer day.