Roasted Tomatillo Salsa (Panela en Salsa Verde)


  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1⁄2 pound (about 4 medium) tomatillos, husked, rinsed and cut in half
  • 1/2 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
  • Salt
  • 8 ounces panela or queso fresco cheese, cut into 3/4 inch cubes—you’ll have 2 loosely packed cups
  • 1 T finely chopped white onion
  • About 1/4 cup (loosely packed) chopped cilantro



  • Set a small non-stick skillet over medium-high heat (if no non-stick skillet is available, lay in a piece of foil). Lay in the garlic and tomatillos (cut side down). When the tomatillos are well browned, 3 or 4 minutes, turn everything over and brown the other side. (The tomatillos should be completely soft.)
  • Scoop the tomatillos and garlic into a blender or food processor, and let cool to room temperature, about 3 minutes. Add the jalapeño and 1/2 cup water. Blend to a smooth puree. Taste and season with salt, usually a generous 1⁄2 teaspoon.
  • Pour the salsa into a medium (3-quart) saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add the cheese.  When the cheese is heated through, about 2 to 3 minutes, pour the mixture into a warm serving dish—in Mexico, they often use a stone mortar (molcajete).
  • Scoop the chopped onion into a strainer and rinse under cold water. Sprinkle over the dish, along with the chopped cilantro. Serve right away with freshly baked chips.  Serves 4-6 as a snack.



  •  working with a multi-step recipe
    Equipment:  skillet, blender or food processor, medium sauce pan


Source:   Recipe from Season 4 of Mexico – One Plate at a Time