– Green tomato salsa over pork – put those green ‘maters to work. –
I have a confession to make: I don’t like salsa. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always asked for my tacos and burritos without it, mostly because raw onions mess with my stomach. For years I endured bland Mexican food, eventually learning to instead pile on the guacamole and cilantro as if they were going extinct. Those epic salsa bars you see at some tacquerias? Yeah, they were totally lost on me.
Recently I discovered that if I make salsa at home, I didn’t suffer any digestive issues due to raw onions. What’s up with that? What’s wrong with the onions that they use in restaurants? I use organic produce from the farmers market, but I don’t think that would really make a difference in the lasting effects of alliums. Regardless, though, I’m loving the salsa I make at home. I’ve been putting it on everything. I even managed to turn the basic recipe into a green tomato pork stew. This particular green tomato salsa came about as somewhat of a fluke.
I’d created a superlative pesto recipe a few days earlier, which you’ll be seeing here soon, and had a bowl of it sitting in the refrigerator. I was attempting to make a green tomato salsa but just couldn’t nail it; I was having an off day and everything I tried fell flat in the flavor department. In an act of desperation I grabbed the bowl of pesto, threw the rest in the food processor with the tomatoes, and pretty much blew myself away with how much a few Italian flavors kicked the living Dickens out of that bland-ass lump of salsa. A recipe was born.
Thrown over a few cubes of pork tenderloin, this salsa takes a normally ho-hum quick dinner and boots it into outer space with very little work. You can toss this salsa over chicken, tofu, and of course tortilla chips, and it sings like Mae West after one too many. (I got a little tart for ya, baby…) I make this dish with both green and red tomatoes, though if you don’t have any green tomatoes, feel free to use tomatillos in their place, or else use all red tomatoes. If you go all green tomatoes, you might want to add a 1/4 teaspoon of sugar to tone down the ka-BLAM! of tartness. Unless you’re into that sort of thing, in which case I salute you and your heroic tastebuds.
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1 small shallot, chopped
- 2 tablespoons pistachios
- 1/2 bunch parsley
- 1/4 cup grapeseed oil or olive oil
- 1 Anaheim chili or hot pepper of your choice, seeded and chopped (optional)
- 2 tablespoons grated aged Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon lime juice, plus more to taste
- 1 pound green tomatoes, seeded and chopped (or use tomatillos)
- 1 pound red tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 1 1/4 pound pork tenderloin, chopped into 1-inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon butter
- In a food processor pulse, garlic, shallot, and pistachios until they are finely ground. Add parsley, grapeseed oil, and chili, pulsing 2 or 3 times. Add parmesan, salt, pepper, and lime juice. Pulse a few more times, until mixed.
- Add green and red tomatoes, pulsing 2 or 3 times to incorporate - but don't process them into mush. Remove the salsa from the food processor and fold with a spatula to finish mixing in the tomatoes. Season with more salt, pepper, and lime juice to taste before covering and setting aside.
- Lightly salt and pepper the pork cubes. Heat butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat and cook pork on all sides until cooked through but still tender; the juices from the cubes should run clear when pierced with a fork.
- Fill four bowl with an equal amount of cooked pork. Drop a generous dollop of salsa into each bowl and serve immediately.