whole food ~ well made

Roasted tomatillo avocado salsa recipe at

Roasted Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa Calls for a Party

It’s a golden afternoon, but the sun is at a low-slant about to plunge behind the mountains and it’s not yet 5 p.m.

The mornings display everything sugar-frosted, claiming all the tomatoes left on the vine. I’m accepting that fall is really here to stay.

So, if we’re going to have homemade salsa, it’s now or never.

Red or Green?

That is one of my favorite questions when I stop by some of the great taco trucks on the border between Oregon and Washington on the way to Walla Walla.

Red salsa–salsa roja–smooth and brick colored, is often fiery. “Pica,” the vendor will caution. I shrug and pour a few dribbles cautiously onto my taco.

This version I make for canning is chunky with a medium heat.

Salsa verde–the green stuff–just zings in all the best ways without being too spicey. It is what I pine for especially when I made a batch of these burritos.

Roasted tomatillos for salsa

The whole procedure is so simple, I wonder why I don’t make salsa verde more often. Still, I don’t often have locally grown tomatillos, like I do today.

Roasted tomatillos on sheet pan for salsa at

It takes no time time peel and rinse them. Then, they go on a sheet pan along with any chile pepper I happen to have, a hunk of onion and a few cloves of garlic {unpeeled so they don’t char and become bitter}.

I roast them until they are blackened. Take them out too soon, and the magical flavors just won’t be there.

Then, I blend all of those roasted vegetables in the food processor with a large bunch of cilantro and just enough salt. Thanks to the tomatillos, this salsa needs no lime juice.

But sometimes it does want an avocado–just because. It’s all the fixins you need for a batch of Saturday night quesadillas.

Or a reason to throw an impromptu party with a few friends who offer to bring the beer. Cheers!


and become a forager

Roasted Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa

I have to credit Rick Bayless for teaching me (though his books) about the major payoffs of roasting tomatillos for salsa verde. This recipe is more of a guideline since measuring is not as important as tasting. Use these amounts as a starting place and then improvise to suit your taste.
Course Sauce
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 1 pint
Author Lynne Curry


  • 1 pound (about 10) tomatillos, husked and rinsed
  • 1-2 fresh chiles, seeded for less heat
  • 3 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 1 small onion, cut into quarters
  • 1 bunch cilantro, stemmed
  • 1 small avocado, halved and pitted optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt


  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Arrange the tomatillos, chiles, garlic and onion in a single layer.
  • Roast the tomatillos until they are blistered and charred and the other vegetables brown, about 40 minutes. (There's no need to turn them.)
  • Allow to cool for 10 minutes before transferring into a food processor. Puree until fairly smooth and then add the cilantro, avocado, if using, and the salt. 
  • If it seems too thick, dribble in up to 1/4 cup water. Puree until smooth, then taste for salt before serving.

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