Mother Earth Living

Vegetables on the Grill: Southwestern Grill in Tortilla Wraps with Tomatillo Salsa

By Susan Belsinger
June/July 1999
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Salsa made from grilled chili ­peppers and tomatillas, combined with a healthy dose of cilantro, lends a Southwest flavor to these grilled wraps. Save the leftovers for breakfast!
Photo Courtesy of Anybody Goes

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Vary the heat of the salsa to suit your taste: choose jalapeños for mild, serranos for medium and habañeros for hot salsa. To peel peppers, tomatillos and tomatoes, roast them whole on a hot grill without marinade or oil, over a gas flame, or under the broiler. Turn them with tongs until they are blackened all over, then place them in a paper or plastic bag or wrap in a towel for 10 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Scrape off the skin with a knife. Don’t worry about leaving a few black spots; they’ll add to the flavor. Stem and seed, then cut the flesh as the recipe directs. Makes 4 wraps.


• 3/4 pound tomatillos or ripe tomatoes
• 1 small onion, quartered
• 2 cloves garlic
• 2 to 4 hot chiles, roasted, stemmed seeded and coarsely chopped
• 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
• 1 tablespoon lime juice
• 1/2 teaspoon cumin seed, toasted and ground
• Salt to taste

1. Roast the tomatillos in their husks over a medium-hot fire, turning occasionally, for 5 minutes or until they have a few black spots. Remove to a plate to cool.

2. When they are cool enough to handle, remove the husks and process the tomatillos with the onion, garlic, hot chiles, cilantro, lime juice, cumin and salt, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides, until they form a coarse puree.

Grilled Wraps

• 1 orange, yellow or red bell pepper
• 4 to 6 large chiles such as Anaheim, poblano or New Mexico
• Vegetable oil
• 1 large onion, cut crosswise into 4 or 5 slices, brushed lightly with oil
• Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
• Tomatillo Salsa (recipe above) 
• 4 large whole wheat flour tortillas
• 1 ripe avocado, peeled, seeded, and cut crosswise into slices
• 1 1/3 cups grated cheddar cheese

1. Roast the peppers over a hot fire. While they are steaming in a paper bag for 5 to 10 minutes, grill both sides of the onion slices over a medium-hot fire. Remove and season with salt and pepper. Peel, stem and seed peppers.

2. Have the salsa, avocado, cheese, onions, and peppers ready for assembly. Quickly heat the tortillas on the grill or a hot griddle or in the microwave until they are soft and pliable. Down the center of each tortilla, layer 1/4 of the peppers, 1/4 of the onions, separated into rings, 1/4 of the avocado and 1/3 cup cheese.

3. Roll the tortilla around the filling and place on the griddle to keep warm while filling the remaining tortillas. Heat the wraps on the griddle or in the microwave until the cheese just begins to melt. Place on serving plates and spoon the salsa over the wraps. Serve immediately.

Susan Belsinger, a frequent contributor to The Herb Companion, treats her family to grilled vegetables all summer long. She is the author, with Thomas DeBaggio, of Basil: An Herb Lover’s Guide (1996) and several other books from Interweave Press.

Click here for the original article,  Vegetables on the Grill.

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