Salsa verde made with unripe tomatoes instead of tomatillos

Salsa verde made with unripe tomatoes instead of tomatillos

One of the difficulties of experimenting new recipes or trying to replicate some of them is the lack of specific ingredients in the market here in Tirana. Anyway, so far it has not been that disturbing since I have found some good substitutes which have amazed me in terms of taste.

To be clearer in this subject, it has been a long time since I wanted to try by myself the salsa verde. Salsa verde is made of tomatillos and I have seen it almost everywhere on the internet; it is used widely in Mexican dishes, which I am really fond of. Tomatillos are known also as Mexican tomatoes, but I’ll leave it to Wikipedia to explain it better .

I have recently bought some green tomatoes (unripe tomatoes) to make some pickled tomatoes and that was the moment that I thought I could prepare some salsa verde. After all, I suppose green tomatoes are the closest relative of tomatillos, so why don’t give it a try?!

The recipe I’m sharing below uses hot green peppers, but you can replace them with sweet green peppers if you don’t like spicy food.

Serving 2 cups

Preparation time: 15 minutes or less


  • 2 medium size green tomatoes
  • ½ diced onion
  • 2 hot green peppers, sliced
  • A bunch of parsley (better if you can get fresh coriander)
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic
  1. Start by roughly chopping the tomatoes.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the garlic and onions until fragrant.
  3. Add at one time the chopped tomatoes, green peppers, salt, cumin and stir for about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the water and simmer in low heat until the tomatoes are soft and can be mashed with the fork.
  5. This step is totally optional, you can use an immersed blender to make the salsa smooth or you can mash it with a fork like me (I like the salsa texture to be more rustic)
  6. Last but not least, add the finely chopped parsley to the salsa and pour it to an airtight container for longer storage.

Since it is entirely homemade and it has no preservatives, the salsa is better consumed within two weeks.

I have paired it with tacos, simply as a dipping salsa for pita chips, etc…

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