Chef Enrique Olvera defines a raw salsa verde as one that is made with tomatillos and used to brighten and freshen heavy dishes.

Use well-chilled ingredients, and make this as close as possible to when it is to be served.


5 large chilled tomatillos, husked, rinsed and cut into quarters

1/4 of a large chilled white onion

2 chilled serrano chile peppers (stemmed and seeded), or more as needed

1 unpeeled garlic clove, charred and then peeled

1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves

1 medium cucumber, seeded and cut into small chunks (1 cup; peeled or unpeeled and rinsed well)



Step 1

Combine the tomatillos, onion, serranos, garlic, cilantro and mint in a blender. Pulse just long enough to achieve a coarse consistency (not quite a puree, because it should still have texture). Alternatively, combine those ingredients in a molcajete, starting with the garlic and salt, then mash until chunky.

Step 2

Transfer to a serving bowl. Stir in the cucumber until well incorporated.

Step 3

Taste, and season with salt and/or more chiles (finely chopped), as needed.

Adapted from “Tu Casa Mi Casa: Mexican Recipes for the Home Cook,” by Enrique Olvera with Luis Arrellano, Gonzalo Gout and Daniela Soto-Innes (Phaidon, 2019).

Tested by Bonnie Benwick; email questions to voraciously@washpost.com.

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The nutritional analysis is based on 1/4-cup servings.


Calories: 15; Total Fat: 0 g; Saturated Fat: 0 g; Sodium: 40 mg; Carbohydrates: 3 g; Dietary Fiber: 1 g; Sugars: 2 g; Protein: 0 g.