On a recent visit to Lake Michigan, we ate at newcomer restaurant, Meza Luna, in Sawyer. Everything we had was great, but one of their signature dishes was a real standout and very simple: crispy, roasted chicken amply drizzled with salsa verde.
I’m sure most of you are like us and associate salsa with Mexican food—perfect with tacos, enchiladas, or for dipping chips. After eating at Meza Luna, however, I started experimenting at home and realized, like it’s distant cousin, chimichurri, salsa verde is the perfect sauce for not only Mexican eats, but can easily accompany chicken, fish, shrimp, steak, or just about any protein. It can also be used with vegetables—trickled over oven-roasted potatoes, caprese salad, or used as a dipping sauce for fries or steamed veggies. It’s an easy, delicious summer grilling compliment and it’s uses are truly endless. It’s also a healthy alternative to store bought, processed marinades and dipping sauces. This particular recipe roasts the veggies in the oven, which gives it an almost smoky flavor, topped off with plenty of fresh, crisp cilantro to brighten it up.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice pepper into four pieces (leaving seeds if you like a lot of heat, half the seeds for medium spice, and discarding all of them for mild). Place tomatillos, onion, pepper slices and garlic on a cookie sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake in oven for about 30 to 40 minutes or until vegetables have some golden brown color to them. Take out and let them throughly cool.
Once cool, place everything (including juices) into a food processor with cilantro and additional tablespoon of olive oil. Blend until completely smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste and blend again. This amazing condiment can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week and broken out to pair as a side with almost anything your heart desires!