Tomatillos are one of those garden vegetables that even brown thumb gardeners just cant seem to kill. They’re known to produce 10 lbs or more per plant, meaning you’ll need to preserve most of your yields to keep them from spoiling before you can get to them.
The first year we planted them the rest of our garden failed and we let the plot go back to hay field, only to find a hearty crop of tomatillos waiting for us under chest high grass. We harvested 40 lbs of tomatillos from 8 plants completely untended and buried in grass. More than once I’ve been given a trash bag full from neighbors or friends that wanted to try growing them but didn’t know what they were getting themselves into.
Green sauce (Salsa Verde) is a spicy sauce traditionally made with tomatillos, onions and lime juice. The lime juice is added both for flavor, and to increase the acidity so that this recipe can be water bath canned. Chili peppers, cilantro and cumin provide the dominant flavors. Try slow cooking a pork shoulder in the crock pot covered in salsa verde, or make a quick weeknight batch of green sauce enchiladas.
Tomatillo Sauce Recipe (Salsa Verde) for Canning
Yield: About 12 pints
Process Time: 15 min for pints
Headspace: 1/2 inch
10 lbs tomatillos, husked & chopped
4-5 large onions, finely chopped
1/2 to 1 cup chili peppers, chopped (hot or mild varieties, your choice)
2 full garlic bulbs, peeled & chopped
1 cup cilantro, minced
1 cup lime juice
1 Tbs. ground cumin
1 to 2 Tbs. salt (to taste, start with 1 and taste before adding more)
- Combine all ingredients in a large stock pot and bring to a simmer on the stove. Simmer for 40 minutes to an hour to allow the tomatillos to break down and flavors to meld. Taste and adjust salt accordingly.
- Ladle sauce into prepared pint mason jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace, and process in a water bath canner for 15 minutes. (20 minutes for quarts)
- Remove from the canner and allow to cool at room temperature before checking seals to make sure all jars have properly sealed. Place any unsealed jars in the refrigerator for immediate use.
*Cook’s Note: For a smooth sauce, process all ingredients in a food processor and reduce stovetop cooking time to simmer for 20 minutes before canning. This will save you a lot of time chopping, but wont work if you’re hoping for a chunkier sauce.
JUST GETTING STARTED CANNING?
If you’re just getting started canning, but plan on making canning and preserving food part of your lifestyle long term, try investing in an online canning course. Pioneering today has a canning with confidencecourse that takes you through the ins and outs of canning from basic canning safety all the way through to pressure canning meat at home. The course covers:
- Canning Safety – Safe techniques to for home canning
- Water Bath Canning – Jams, jellies, pickles, tomatoes, and other high acid fruits and vegetables including low sugar, no pectin variations.
- Pressure Canning – How to safely operate a pressure canner at home to can almost any type of food for long term preservation
- Troubleshooting and Storage – Figuring out why a recipe just didn’t work, and maximizing storage of your home canned goods.