Tomatillos and Corn for Two Salsas (real food)

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summary: Two Salsas!! recipes for corn and tomatillo salsas based on recipes in “Salsas and Ketchups” by Silvana Franco; information about Hearth ‘n Soul – real food (formerly “Two For Tuesdays!”); (click on images to see larger views and more photos)

I know. It’s not Tuesday. Tuesday was yesterday.*

corn salsa In August, Heather (Girlichef) posted about tomatillo salsa and Carnitas con Verdolagas (aka purslane). At the time, we decided we HAD to try it. And we bicycled to Kensington Market in search of verdolagas and tomatillos. We were SURE we’d find verdolagas. But no. They hadn’t even heard of it. Or we were pronouncing it wrong.

While we were at the market, we couldn’t resist buying some jicama and corn as well.

When we got home, I leafed through our copy of “Salsas and Ketchups” by Silvana Franco to see what she did with tomatillos. And I got completely distracted by the corn salsa on page 118.

Well, not completely. We still made the tomatillo salsa. Because if one salsa is good, two must be better.

For the salsas, T roasted the husked corn directly on the barbecue grill. And he barbecued hot shepherd peppers (not very hot – just a nice little kick), tomatillos and plum tomatoes in our barbecue wok until they had char marks.

Meanwhile (heeheheehehee – I’m lying – I just wanted to say “meanwhile”. He didn’t do the next step until after the vegetables were charred), he fried chopped onions in olive oil til they were soft and starting to turn gold.

He cut the kernels from the cob and put them in a bowl, then chopped the peppers and tomatoes coarsely and added them along with the onions, some lime juice and salt and pepper. He waited til it had cooled before stirring in cilantro.

Franco suggests serving the corn salsa on baked potatoes.

Fill a baked potato with a spoonful of sour cream and top with this gragrant salsa for a super light lunch. Remember to choose the freshest, juiciest corn cobs.

– Sylvana Franco, Salsas and Ketchups, “Roasted Corn Salsa” p. 118

corn salsa We nixed that. Instead of baking potatoes, we grilled chicken legs (western rub) on the barbecue and baked pita (corn tortillas would work equally well). We put a pita onto each plate and scattered some corn salsa over top. Then we placed the chicken on top of that and scattered some more corn salsa on top of the chicken.

Steamed green beans on the side.

Et voila!! Bob est ton oncle.

Here’s our version of the recipe for corn salsa we saw when we were looking for the tomatillo salsa recipe, which we ALSO had on the side – I suppose you want that too??

Two Salsas
Corn . Tomatillo

Roasted Corn Salsa
adapted from a recipe in “Salsas and Ketchups” by Silvana Franco (p. 118)

  • 2 corn cobs
  • 1 plum tomato
  • 1 small medium hot red pepper, cored, seeded and quartered
  • 1 small onion
  • olive oil
  • fresh coriander leaf (cilantro), chopped coarsley
  • freshly squeezed lime juice, to taste
  • seasalt and pepper, to taste
  1. Shuck the corn and place it directly on the grill, turning the cobs every so often, until they are beginning to show a little dark gold on some of the kernels. While the corn is on the grill, put the red pepper and tomato into a barbecue wok and grill them til they are a little charred.
  2. After the vegetables are done, put a small cereal bowl upside down into a pie plate. Place a corn cob upright on the bowl and use a large, heavy knife to slice down the cob to remove the kernels. Repeat with the other cob. Set aside.
  3. Saute the onion in olive oil until soft and beginning to turn gold.
  4. Coarsley chop the tomato and pepper. Put the corn kernels in a bowl with the tomatoes, onions, and coriander leaf. Add lime juice, salt and pepper and toss well to mix.

Serve slightly warm or cool.


Tomatillo Salsa
loosely based on a recipe in “Salsas and Ketchups” by Silvana Franco (p. 109)

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • red (med. hot) shepherd pepper
  • jalapeno peppers
  • tomatillos
  • coriander leaf (cilantro)
  • garlic, chopped finely
  • olive oil
  • seasalt and pepper
  1. Barbecue wok tomatillos and peppers til charred. Chop coarsely and de-stem (we left the seeds in).
  2. Fry onions and garlic in olive oil til just turning golden. Add with lime juice to tomatillos and peppers. Wait til cool before adding the coriander leaf and whirring in food processor til smoothish.

Franco claims that this salsa will keep covered in the refrigerator, for up to 5 days. Ours didn’t last nearly that long. In fact, we didn’t even have any to put into the fridge to see how long it would keep.


We knew we had to precook the tomatillos but because we were barbecuing corn and peppers anyway, we decided to barbecue the tomatillos too. But if you do not have a barbecue at your disposal, here’s what Franco writes about how to cook fresh tomatillos: If you can find fresh tomatillos, remove the papery skins, halve the tomatillos, and simmer them gently in water until tender. – Sylvana Franco, Salsas and Ketchups, “Tomatillo Salsa” p. 109

This was a stellar dinner! Even though we didn’t manage to get the purslane, we are still most grateful to Heather for her post that pushed us to get the tomatillos.

Oh yes, and the jicama? We mandolined it into shoestrings, added a bit of lime juice and salt and served it as salad. It was delicious too.

Hearth 'n Soul - Real Food Tuesday Blog Hop

Hearth ‘n Soul Eat Real Food
(formerly “Two for Tuesdays!”)

This event was created by Alex (A Moderate Life) with the idea that each “Two for Tuesday” post would contain two things (two recipes, two links, two variations on a theme… as long as the post is about real food. Alex, Heather (girlichef) and two other bloggers have joined forces to co-host. Heather wrote:

» REAL food is homemade. REAL food is from scratch. REAL food has recognizable ingredients. REAL food is made from traditional ingredients. REAL food is food you make with your own hands.

-Heather (girlichef), “Extra! Extra! Read all About It! Announcing… TWO for TUESDAYS!”

The “Two for Tuesdays” event has evolved and while it is still virtually the same, it now has a new name, “Hearth ‘n Soul”. I’m a little sorry to see that the “Two” part of the event is finished. I kind of liked the challenge (not to mention the alliteration) of “Two for Tuesdays”.

For links to the other “Hearth ‘n Soul” hosts and complete details on how to participate in the weekly event, please read the following:

  • Heather (girlichef): Hearth ‘n Soul Blog Hop
  • Alex (A Moderate Life): Hearth and Soul Blog Hop!


corn salsa As for why this is posted on Wednesday rather than Tuesday, I’ve got nothing. No reason. No excuse at all for not posting this yesterday. Or in fact for not posting this in August when we made it.

But luckily, with name change, I don’t need to worry. Remarkably, I’m still in time for this week’s posts!

It’s not that we didn’t love it. We did. So much so that we made it again a couple of days later. And if you neeeeeed to make it too and are mourning that corn season is over, please don’t despair. You still might be able to get fresh corn (we did yesterday; it was delicious). And of course, I’m sure frozen corn would work in a pinch.

edit 24 September 2010: I thought I’d google again about purslane and see that it originally comes from India! Now we’ll have to look again in India Town!

Purslane (Portulaca oleracea, Portulacaceae/Caryophyllales) is an annual herb probably native to the Himalayas, but today naturalized in Western Asia and Southern Europe. Although often eaten cooked as a vegetable, the raw leaves and stems have a crispy texture and a salty, fresh taste that makes them a good garnish for Mediterranean cold foods, e.g., West Asian appetizers. The flower buds have a more pronounced flavour and have been tried as a caper substitute.

– Gernot Katzer, Spice Pages Geographic Spice Index

Purslane comes from India, where it was a food crop centuries ago. It was Gandhi’s favorite food. Now it also grows across America, and around the world.

– Steve “Wildman” Brill, From Stalking the Wild Dandelion: A Guide to Wild Edible Plants for Parents and Teachers to Use With Children (A new, as yet unpublished, work-in-progress) Purslane (

most recent Two for Tuesday (Real Food) post: Pears galore (real food)

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3 responses to “Tomatillos and Corn for Two Salsas (real food)

  1. girlichef

    One out of two isn’t bad ;) But seriously…both of the salsas sound amazing…and fire-roasting the veg always leads to the best flavor in my book! I know this was fabulous with the chicken because I can almost taste it from here. I was never able to locate purslane from a market or vendors, either…I recommend looking in the yard(s)…now that I’m looking, I see it EVERYWHERE!!! Thanks for the awesome shout-out and for sharing this with the hearth and soul hop this week, Elizabeth :)

    Thank YOU for the fabulous new dishes for us, Heather! I looked around in overgrown front gardens but didn’t spot purslane. I’ll try to remember to ask for it next spring at the organic garden center. (I suspect that will be the only place that sells weed seeds.) -Elizabeth

  2. Butterpoweredbike

    I can find purslane at my latin market (it has enormous leaves!), but I agree with Heather that the most reliable place to find it is in my yard (or driveway, to be exact). Your salsas sound really delicious. I like the idea to serve salsa on a baked spud. Thanks for linking up with the Hearth and Soul hop this week.

    edit 24 September 2010: We were certain that we’d find it at the South American market in Kensington, Bpb. But the only leaf-like things they had were cactus leaves; there was nothing in the fresh vegetables section that looked at all like the photographs of purslane we’d seen on the internet. (I just looked again on the internet and have read that it was Gandhi’s favourite! I’ll edit the bottom of the post.) -E

  3. Christy

    I would love to have some of both- putting it with chicken sounds so delicious! I am a little afraid to eat weeds – I admit it – but I trust my knowledgable co-hosts and so I know purslane must be tasty (and safe) Thanks for linking to the hearth and soul hop!

    edit 24 September 2010: I’m only afraid to eat weeds that haven’t grown in my own garden. Who knows what has been sprayed on city weeds! But I’d certain try purslane if I saw it sprouting up in our lawn. -Elizabeth (I hope you’ve tried dandelion greens, Christy. They’re fabulous.)


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