Seared Salmon with Tomatillo Coulis

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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For Tomatillo Coulis:

1 small red onion
1/4 pound fresh tomatillos
1 fresh green Anaheim chile
1 fresh poblano chile
3 unpeeled garlic cloves
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 scant cup cilantro sprigs
1 scant cup packed fresh spinach leaves
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
about 1/4 cup water

For the fish:

4 (5oz.) pieces salmon fillet with skin
12 fresh basil leaves
1 tsp. Sichuan peppercorns
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. coarse sea salt
1 Tbsp. olive oil


Preheat the oven to 400F. Quarter the onion. In a shallow baking pan, toss the onion, tomatillos (in husks), chiles and garlic cloves with 2 Tbsp. of olive oil until coated. Roast the vegetables in the middle of the oven until tender, about 25 minutes. Wearing a pair of rubber gloves, peel the chiles. Cut off the tops and remove the seeds and ribs. Discard the husks from the tomatillos and peel the garlic. In a blender puree the roasted vegetables and all the remaining coulis ingredients except the water, adding just enough water, 1 Tbsp. at a time, if necessary to facilitate the blending. Season the coulis with salt.

With a paring knife make 3 slits in the top of each salmon fillet and stuff with a basil leaf. Coarsely grind the peppercorns and brush the salmon with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with the ground peppercorns and sea salt.

In a large non-stick skillet heat the olive oil over high heat until hot but not smoking and sear the salmon fillets, turning occasionally, until they are browned on all sides and just cooked through, about 7 minutes total. Serve the salmon fillets on top of the tomatillo coulis.

Yields 4 servings.