For two years now, we’ve been part of a CSA. As is pretty obvious through this blog, I love vegetables. Especially fresh, seasonal, locally grown vegetables. Probably my favorite part of the CSA is getting ingredients that I’m unfamiliar with and getting the chance to experiment. Unfamiliar doesn’t just mean taste, though — to me it also means foods I love but have never cooked. Up until last year, that meant tomatillos.
You see, I’ve always loved Mexican food. And salsa verde seems so fancy to me. Don’t ask me why. It just does. But buying tomatillos always intimidated me. I mean, they are like little green tomatoes wearing a jacket. I just had no idea what I was doing, so I left them sitting on the shelf, and reached around them to get my garlic and avocados. When I had a huge bag full of them from the CSA last year, though, I realized that these little guys weren’t so scary after all. And salsa verde? Super easy to make.
In addition to its simplicity, the beauty of the salsa verde is its versatility. Sure you can use it in these enchiladas (and they are delicious). But you can use it as a salad dressing like at Chipotle. Or, just dip chips in it. Or, eat it with a spoon. I won’t judge.
Anyway, in this meal, the salsa verde gets cooked down a bit and used to make the sauce for the chicken enchiladas. And then I serve them with spicy black beans and Spanish rice. It’s quite fantastic because the side dishes cook up while the enchiladas are in the oven. I love when timing works out like that. It makes me feel like I should be on the Food Network. Just not on Chopped, because I think those judges might make me cry. But I’ve digressed.
So, go out and get some of those scary little tomatillos. I promise they aren’t so scary after all. And make some salsa verde. And maybe some enchiladas. And some black beans. It’ll be like a fiesta for your mouth!
Salsa Verde Chicken Enchiladas
adapted from Tyler Florence
- Salsa Verde (see recipe below)
- ½ yellow onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 ½ tsp cumin
- ¼ cup rice flour
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- Chicken breasts, diced & cooked
- Corn tortillas, softened
- ½ cup Cheddar Jack Cheese
- Pre-heat oven to 350.
- In a large pot over medium heat, sauté the onions in olive oil until clear. Add garlic and cumin and cook until fragrant, about a minute.
- Sprinkle on the flour and stir to coat. Gradually stir in the vegetable broth. Stirring continually, cook sauce over a simmer until it thickens, to coat the back of the spoon.
- Remove from heat and stir in about 1 ½ cups of the salsa verde and the chopped, cooked chicken.
- On the bottom of a greased 8×8 baking dish, spread around a little of the salsa verde. Spoon some of the filling into the tortillas, roll, and place in the dish. Top the enchiladas with extra sauce and cheese. **Note: A 9×13 pan would probably be better. I used an 8×8, and a bunch of smaller baking pans for leftovers.
- Bake, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes until bubbly.
- Serve with extra salsa verde, beans, and rice.
Roasted Salsa Verde
- 1 lb tomatillos, husked
- ½ pint grape tomatoes
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 large onion, halved
- 2 jalapenos, stemmed
- Juice of 1 lime
- Salt, pepper, and cumin to taste
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Place all vegetables in baking pan, and spray with cooking spray. Roast for 12 – 15 minutes.
- Put roasted vegetables in food processor with lime juice and spices. Pulse until everything is incorporated, but it is still somewhat chunky.
Spicy Black Beans
- ½ onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
- 1 tsp cumin
- ½ tsp cayenne
- ½ cup vegetable broth
- 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
- Saute onion and jalapeno in olive oil over medium heat until onions are translucent. Add garlic and spices, and saute until fragrant.
- Add beans and vegetable broth. Let cook on medium low until much of the liquid is evaporated. Use a potato masher to mash some of the beans.