In an unexpected change of events over the last week, the midwest has experienced a bit of a spring heat wave. That’s all about to change — some areas are forecasted to get 10-12 inches of snow and some blizzard-like conditions today, but for a few brief days, we enjoyed 60+ degrees, grilling outdoors, and enjoying a cold beer on a patio after a good days work. So, to go along with some grilled chicken that I’ll post in the next few days, I made this green apple salsa verde from the Smoke: New Firewood Cooking cookbook. I was looking for something to make with my smoker, but ended up not being home enough to use that. But, this provided the little taste of summer that was needed in order to glimpse summer before today’s winter returns.
Green Apple Salsa Verde
1 lb tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and halved
1/2 yellow onion, peeled and cut into thirds
2 jalapeno chiles, stemmed and seeded
5 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 c packed fresh cilantro leaves
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and finely diced
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the tomatillos, onion, jalapenos, garlic, and 2 cups water. Bring to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are soft and tender, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables from the cooking liquid to a bowl, and allow them to cool at room temperature while you reduce the liquid in the pan.
Bring the cooking liquid to a boil over high heat, and continue to boil until the liquid is reduced to 1/2 cup. Pour the reduced liquid into the bowl of vegetables and refrigerate, covered, until the vegetables have cooled completely.
When the vegetables and the liquid have cooled, stir in the salt. Transfer the vegetables to a blender and pulse until the salsa is almost smooth. Add the cilantro and pulse 2 or 3 times to incorporate the cilantro leaves — you don’t want to bruise or tear them by pulsing too much. Pour the sauce into a bowl and fold in the diced apple.
If you want to make the salsa ahead of time, it can be refrigerated for up to 2 days in an airtight container. Add the diced apples just before serving.