Saturday, October 01, 2011

Necessity is the Mother

When we were on vacation recently we got an emergency call from our son, who was housesitting and taking care of our dogs. And just like when the phone rings in the middle of the night, worst case scenarios flashed across my mind.

Fire? Death? Destruction?

"I'm running out of room for all the tomatoes. I'm on my fourth trip out to the garden and haven't even started on the cherries yet."

After heaving a sigh of relief, I asked if he'd want to make sauce from them. I assured him all he had to do was roughly chop them, throw them in a really big pot, turn on the heat, then stir them every couple of hours as they simmer. Then cool and bag. Which he did. Twice!

When we got home a few days later, of course, there were more tomatoes still, so I came up with a recipe for a salsa verde made with green zebra tomatoes. Whether for simmering chicken thighs, sauce for steak tacos or making enchiladas, I think it's a winner.

Roasted Green Zebra Salsa Verde

1 lb. green zebra tomatoes (6-8)
1/2 yellow onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic
2 ancho chiles
1/4 c. cilantro
Juice of 1 lime
Salt to taste

Preheat oven to 350°.

Roast tomatoes by halving and placing cut face up in roasting pan. Place in oven and roast for 45 minutes or until the tomatoes start to shrivel and brown on the edges.

While tomatoes roast, take chiles and place over flame on burner of gas stovetop. Allow skins to blacken, turning to blister evenly. When mostly blackened, place in paper bag and close it, allowing them to steam for ten minutes. Remove from bag and wipe off blackened skin by hand or with towel. Remove stem and seeds.

Place roasted tomatoes, chiles and remaining ingredients (except salt) in bowl of food processor. Process until smooth. Salt to taste.

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