Chicken and White Bean Chile Verde with Cilantro-Lime Pesto

The best American name for this vegetable would probably be “Mexican green tomato”, but they actually taste nothing like regular tomatoes, In fact, the tomatillo is not a tomato at all. The tomatillo has a tart, lemony flavor that is enhance when cooked (especially roasted) and is an excellent base for salsas. While salsa (salsa verde) is the most popular way to enjoy tomatillo, they can be used in other ways. Tomatillos contain high amounts of vitamin A&C. Tomatillos are our #2 sales item!

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1 pound tomatillos
1/2 pound poblano chiles
2 teaspoons olive oil, plus extra for tomatillos and chiles
1 large yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/4 teaspoons oregano
1 1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
3 cups chicken broth
2 – 15.5 ounce cans Bush’s brand cannellini beans, with liquid
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
4 cups swiss chard, chopped (about 1 bunch), stems removed
1/2 – 1 teaspoons salt, according to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Cilantro-Lime Pesto, recipes follows
Sour Cream, optional
Diced Avocado, optional
Tortilla chips, optional

Cilantro-Lime Pesto:
1 bunch fresh cilantro
1/3 of a jalapeno, seeds and ribbing removed
1 handful walnuts (around 1/4 cup)
2 cloves garlic
2 ounces olive oil
2 limes, juiced
salt and pepper, to taste


YIELD: serves 4 – 6

For the White Bean Chicken Chile Verde:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large baking or cookie sheet with foil. Set aside.

Remove skins from tomatillos. Wash, dry, and cut in half. Place cut side down on foil lined baking sheet. Wash and cut poblanos in half, remove ribbing, seeds and stems. Place cut side down (skins facing up) on the baking sheet. Drizzle the tomatillos and poblanos with olive oil. Roast at 425 degrees F until tomatillos are soft and the chiles are blistered.

Add cooked tomatillos and poblanos (you can skin them if you want, but I opted not to) in a food processor and puree until smooth. Set aside. Heat the 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a large dutch oven or stock pot. Add the onion and saute until golden and tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, oregano, cumin and chili powder. Saute for an additional 3 minutes.

Stir the tomatillo mixture, cook over medium-low heat (lowering heat if sputtering occurs) for 10 minutes, until thickened. Stir in the broth, beans (with liquid) and shredded chicken. Continue to simmer for an additional 20 minutes.

Stir in the chopped chard, season to taste with salt and pepper, and simmer for 5-10 more minutes, until chard is tender. Serve topped with cilantro lime pesto, sour cream, tortilla chips and diced avocado.

For the Cilantro-Lime Pesto:
Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper, if desired.