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Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

There is no weather phenomenon that I love as much as warm wind. Last night I luxuriated in an entire outdoor evening of it. Whiskey, wine, potato tacos, patio seating. Unfortunately, it led to my oversleeping and missing yoga this morning (bad Kate). But I was left with such an excitement about the seasonal change. And a happy belly. Today I’m going apple picking. What’s more fall than that?

Last week, I picked up some beautiful tomatillos and cilantro at the farmer’s market. I roasted the tomatillos and garlic while I was cooking some salmon, and then made a sauce to dress the fish. I had to make an editorial decision to leave out a picture of the finished product, because, as tasty as it was, the salmon was not very picturesque. But nonetheless it was delicious, especially with this sauce. I added a side of black-eyed peas to finish it off.

The star of the show was this salsa, really. There is something so undeniably bright about these little green veggies, which belong to both the tomato and the cape gooseberry families. I don’t know how much longer they’ll be around the market. I’m guessing we’ll see a lot more squash and roots tomorrow (market day in Wicker Park). But you certainly could pick these up at any Mexican market. In Chicago, there are millions. The leftover product was a great quesadilla topper.

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

1 lb. tomatillos, dehusked and halved
4 garlic cloves, whole with skin on
salt
pepper
olive oil
1/2 head of cilantro
lemon juice (or lime)
optional: jalapeno, destemmed and seeded

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place halved tomatillos and whole garlic in a baking pan with salt, pepper, and olive oil to coat. Roast until well cooked through, about 15 minutes. Let cool a few minutes, and when cool enough to touch, peel the garlic.

In a food processor, combine all ingredients and pulse until you get a lusciously smooth sauce. Adjust salt to taste. I didn’t have a jalapeno on hand, so mine was a decidedly mild sauce. But it would be excellent with the addition of a little heat.

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