Mother Earth Living

Canning and Preserving Herbs: Tomatillo Salsa

By Maggie Oster
August/September 1995
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Makes 4 half-pints

Tomatillos are one of the great gardening secrets that needs to be “discovered”. Easily grown and very productive, they have a lemony flavor that makes a delightful salsa, either fresh or canned. Let some go to seed in the garden, and you’ll have plants next year.

• 2 pounds fresh tomatillos
• 1 cup chopped onion
• 1 to 2 serrano, jalapeño, poblano, or other hot peppers to taste, cored, seeded, and chopped
• 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, minced
• 1/4 cup fresh lemon thyme leaves, minced
• 1/4 cup fresh lime juice

1. Remove the husks from the tomatillos, wash thoroughly, dry, and halve or quarter, depending on how chunky you want the finished salsa. (Note that tomatillos break down considerably when they are cooked.) Combine the tomatillos and remaining ingredients in a nonreactive pan. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

2. Prepare the jars, lids, and boiling-water bath. Fill the jars with the hot, thickened mixture, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe the rims with a clean towel and attach the lids securely.

3. Place the jars in the boiling-water bath, and when the water returns to a boil, process for 15 minutes. Remove the jars, cool, label, and store.

(Adapted from Recipes from an American Herb Garden.)


Maggie Oster writes extensively about herbs, food, gardening, cooking, landscape design, flowers, and crafts. Her books include Recipes from an American Herb Garden (New York: Macmillan, 1993) and Herbal Vinegar (Pownal, Vermont: Storey Communications, 1994). When she’s not on the road, she’s in her garden or kitchen in Indiana or Kentucky.

Click here for the main article,  Canning and Preserving Herbs: 13 Recipes .








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