10 Top Tomatillo Recipes and Roasted Tomatillo and Green Olive Salsa

by heidi on May 2, 2012

Roasted Tomatillo and Green Olive Salsa | FoodieCrush.com

I don’t know why but within one day I’ve become surrounded by the soon-to-be-wedded.

I spent part of last week watching a wedding photography seminar as I worked along on my computer. The week before I was at a wedding fashion shoot. And I’ve been working with my bridal editor at my day job on our upcoming editorial calendar. Did this cloak of weddingness suddenly spread to those around me?

I had to wonder because…

This past weekend we had a great friend from our old hood in Venice visiting us. And he brought his girlfriend. To pop the big question.

Foodie Crush She Said Yes

A semi-confirmed bachelor, our friend finally realized it was okay to let go of the trepidation of vacating his non-committed life. On Sunday, at 11,000 feet on a nearby mountain top he took to bended knee and proposed as I snapped away.

He’s finally getting married? How can this be? He’s spent his life looking out for number one, while always on the lookout for number two, three or four. None of whom could measure up to the perfect partner mystery ideal.

But he changed. Once he opened up enough to let her in she far exceeded his expectations.

On Monday I teleported from an engagement on top of a mountain to one that we’ll be celebrating in the core of the deep south. I learned I have another wedding to plan for: the nuptials of the daughter of another best friend via my life in Los Angeles. This time in blues country of the Mississippi delta.

Her daughter is getting married? How can that be? It was just a month or year or nearly a decade ago when she was getting caught sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, hanging out with the children of LA’s beyond rich and famous whilst being dubbed the girl that kept them grounded.

But she changed. She left the glitter and flash of her native Los Angeles to discover her roots in a small, very southern town that was not her own. She’s simplified and embraced where she is and who she’s with.

Foodie Crush Roasted Tomatillo and Green Olive Salsa

Life is about change. Sometimes we can dictate that change, and sometimes it happens for us.

I spend a lot of time thinking about change, sometimes willing it to happen (new opportunities for new creative growth) and sometimes resisting it (at her request, no longer calling my daughter by her nickname “Smudge” in front of people. Oh man, really? We’re already THERE?)

So if we all crave change and new beginnings why is it so darn scary?

I recently took a version of this salsa to Annalise’s baby shower and I was immersed in the reality of how her life is taking on a radical change, the same mine did nearly 8 years ago. It’s a change some have yearned for and others have adjusted to and one I would never trade.

All of this change left me craving something other than the usual red tomato to create a perfectly acceptable salsa. Instead I went for a little something different. Not THAT different, maybe just a little less obvious.

Getting to the fruit of tomatillos takes a little more work, and a little more time. A lot like the things we value most in life.

Roasted Tomatillo and Green Olive Salsa

Serving Size: makes 1 1/2 cups

Roasted Tomatillo and Green Olive Salsa


1 1/2 pounds tomatillos, husked
6 garlic cloves
2 jalapeno peppers
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup green olives
1 cup cilantro
1 lime, juiced
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup water
* substitute 1 serrano pepper for the jalapeno peppers if you like more heat


  1. Heat oven to 475 degrees. Spread tomatillos, garlic cloves and jalapeno on baking sheet and coat evenly with oil. Roast for 15 minutes or until tomatillos are browned and blistered.
  2. Remove from oven and place in a food processor or blender with olives, cilantro, lime and sugar. Pulse 5-7 times. Add water and pulse another 4-5 times to mix.
  3. Place in bowl and serve with chips or as a topping on eggs, chicken or meat.

And now for a few others who went for a little change too.

Chock full of veggies The Tolerant Vegan‘s Salsa Verde Sliders with Avocado Mayo 

One of my all-time fave Mexican meals, There’s a Newf In My Soup‘s Maui-Style Snapper Tacos ratch it up a notch with Tomatillo-Arbol Chile Salsa 

Foodie Crush A Thought for Food Tomatillo Fettucine

Brian takes an ethnic turn of events from Mexico to Italy with A Thought for Food‘s simple but spicy Fettucine with Tomatillo and Cilantro Pesto

If you have 5 minutes, you have dinner with Heather Christo Cook‘s Grilled Clams with Tomatillo Bacon Salsa

Finding the missing link in her recipe repretoire, Dara brings it home with Cookin’ Canuck‘s Roasted Tomatillo Shrimp Tacos Recipe with Honey-Lime Slaw 

This salad dressing is a local obsession and Kalyn uses it to dress up last night’s leftovers in Kalyn’s Kitchen‘s Chicken Chopped Salad with Cafe Rio Style Creamy Tomatillo Dressing

Now this is the way to drink your greens! Thank you Stefanie for Sarcastic Cooking‘s Maria Verde

Slathered with chipotle and freshened up with avocado, tomatillos and cilantro, Dana Treat’s Mexican Pizza with Corn, Tomatillos and Chipotle Chiles is every pizza lover’s decadent Mexican dreamboat

With a super easy base to build upon and a fridge that needed clearing, Nancy created a tomatillo lover’s brothy delight in A Communal Table‘s Chicken Tomatillo and Chile Soup

Be sure to enter my giveaway for a $100 Visa Gift Card and gorgeous handmade bowls from Harabu House before Sunday, May 5, 2012 when we’ll be choosing a winner.
Thanks to all of you who have submitted recipes for the upcoming summer issue of Foodie Crush, this is going to be a great frozen round-up. If you haven’t yet submitted, do it! You could see your recipe in great company.


Posted in: appetizers and small bites,recipes,sauces and condiments

{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

Averie @ Averie Cooks May 2, 2012 at 3:02 am

What a lovely post, Heidi. Thank you for sharing all the stories and personal touches and memories. I love posts like this!


heidi May 3, 2012 at 7:57 pm

Thanks Averie, trying to get a little more personal on the blog so when there’s something to say its fun to share.


Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar May 2, 2012 at 5:25 am

Awww what an adorable proposal!! Also, this salsa sounds delicious!


Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking May 2, 2012 at 8:13 am

I am totally into all the tomatillo love! This salsa is going with me to a cinco de mayo party this weekend. Thanks for featuring my green bloody mary!


heidi May 3, 2012 at 7:55 pm

Thank you! It looks so delicious and refreshing. I love the twist on my favorite brunch drink.


Jennifer May 2, 2012 at 8:47 am

The salsa recipe sounds great! Thanks for sharing the little side wedding stories. I won’t mention that I’m a reader, and I’m planning mine, too. You are surrounded!


heidi May 3, 2012 at 7:55 pm

Weddings make everyone so happy, but stressful in the planning stages for the bride. Good luck and best wishes!


Laurie {Simply Scratch} May 2, 2012 at 9:04 am

Tomatillo deliciousness and and an romantic engagement… what a great post!


Sue May 2, 2012 at 10:59 am

I really enjoyed reading the personal story attached with this recipe, thank you! Just printed off the recipe, hopefully I can make it sometime soon.


Bev Weidner May 2, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Holy cow. Your tomatillo salsa siiiiiiiiiingeth to me.


Paula May 2, 2012 at 1:58 pm

This looks very healthy and delicious! And it really fascinated. I want to try one of these especially the pasta. What would be the best food to try from this post? Anyway, thank you very much for sharing this to us.


heidi May 3, 2012 at 7:53 pm

I’m partial to the fish tacos, I’m a sucker for baja style.


Barbara @ Barbara Bakes May 2, 2012 at 2:07 pm

Good thing I planned Tacos for tonight. After reading this post, I’m craving Mexican.


vianney May 2, 2012 at 2:17 pm

Such a sweet post and the proposal shot is amazing, great round up!!


heidi May 3, 2012 at 7:52 pm

Thank you Vianney, it was a pretty sweet moment when he pulled out the ring.


Lori @ RecipeGirl May 2, 2012 at 3:36 pm

Great recipe links! I always look at tomatillos and I’m not really sure what to do with them. Now I know :)


Sandy @Southwestgirl May 2, 2012 at 5:19 pm

I love your roasted tomatillo salsa with that salty, vinegar bite from the green olives!
And, soon, you will be handed a list of things you won’t be able to do in public. I miss those days :)


Jennifer | Mother Thyme May 2, 2012 at 8:31 pm

Fabulous post! I love how you mention that things that take a little more time and a little more work is a lot like the things we value most in life, so true! I have been looking at some tomatillo at the market recently and you have inspired me to pick some up next time I am there to try this lovely salsa; looks amazing!


heidi May 3, 2012 at 7:58 pm

Thanks for the comment Jennifer. It seems like time goes by too fast too, so I’m just trying to value what I have and work hard to get what I want.


Perry May 3, 2012 at 7:22 am

I have been looking at some tomatillo at the market recently and you have inspired me to pick some up next time I am there to try this lovely salsa; looks amazing!


Lauren May 3, 2012 at 1:22 pm

Your cooking inspires me to want to cook amazing things! You are so talented, and I also LOVE the way you write!


Cookie and Kate May 3, 2012 at 5:04 pm

Change is hard. It’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot as I contemplate moving to Kansas City. It seems there’s never a convenient time to move. I just ate jarred salsa verde with dinner and I so would have traded it for your homemade tomatilla and olive salsa!


Aziz June 8, 2012 at 10:29 pm

Thanks for any other informative blog. Where else may just I get that kind of info wriettn in such an ideal approach? I have a venture that I am just now operating on, and I have been at the glance out for such info.


wakanetwork May 4, 2012 at 2:45 am

This looks super tasty and yummy! I will bookmark this recipe for future reference. Thanks dear.


Pershy May 5, 2012 at 12:05 am

It’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot as I contemplate moving to Kansas City. It seems there’s never a convenient time to move.


Cassie May 5, 2012 at 3:15 pm

What a sweet engagement story. I wish we had ours documented in photographs too! This salsa is such a great combination. Love it!


Deborah May 7, 2012 at 8:27 am

What a great proposal, and how lucky to have you there to capture it! I love tomatillos – and every single one of these recipes looks so good!!


Sarah Jane May 13, 2012 at 8:07 am

I am getting ready to make the roasted tomatillo and green olive salsa….I had a hard time finding green olives without pimento in them :( …. actually I never did find any! I am thinking that I’ll just have my kids have “fun” and poke out all the pimento. Hope I’m using the right kind of olives, though? It looks and sounds amazing!


Barbara M. Hanlon May 16, 2012 at 4:14 am

New things are really great. Thanks for a wonderful list again.


Barbara M. Hanlon May 16, 2012 at 7:10 am

Oh, thank you so much. I am so glad to hear that someone was posting this kind of blogs.


Region July 12, 2012 at 4:12 pm

Hello Im growing lots of tomatillos and have no recipes any help


cate December 4, 2012 at 10:30 pm

I noticed all of these recipes have a down-south twist, except for perhaps the fettucine. Have you discovered any other ways to use tomatillos?

I’m not a big cilantro fan so I’ve been trying to think of other ways to use them to no avail


wendy July 24, 2013 at 2:41 am

your link is broke to the salsa verde sliders. the correct address is….

Thanks for sharing!


Rose Mary August 30, 2013 at 1:22 pm

Can you freeze tomatillos after they are cooked.


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