The Good News: The jalapeńo in this tomatillo-based salsa is a good source of vitamin C and can be either mild or fiery (depending on whether you leave in the seeds). Tim Cushman prefers it fiery: "I like it when food is so spicy that it makes me sweat and cry," he says. The freshly ground cumin seeds in the salsa add a toasty depth of flavor that is great with salmon; they're also thought to aid digestion.
1 pound tomatillos, husked and cored
1 onion, coarsely chopped
3 garlic, smashed and peeled
1 jalapeńo, stemmed and halved
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
How to Make It
In a large saucepan, cover the tomatillos, onion, garlic and jalapeńo with water. Bring to a boil and simmer until the tomatillos lose their bright green color, 8 minutes. Drain, transfer to a blender and let cool.
In a small, dry skillet, toast the cumin seeds over moderate heat until fragrant, shaking the pan, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a spice grinder and let cool slightly.
Grind the cumin to a powder and add it to the blender along with the cilantro and sugar; puree until smooth. Season the salsa with salt and serve chilled.
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