Saturday, September 5, 2009

Friday: Real Mexican Food

Verdolagas con Papas en Salsa de Tomatillo (purslane with potatoes in green sauce).

This excellent recipe comes from the cookbook Meatless Mexican Home Cooking, which you can find in our book list at right. It combines common purslane, a succulent which grows wild throughout North America, with tart tomatillos, a new-world member of the nightshade family. This doesn't look much like the Tex-Mex you find in restaurants, but then, it seems like most real Mexican food doesn't...

Tomatillos come in cute papery husks - like groundcherries, but much larger:

They are usually green, but as you can see there are also mottled purple varieties. They should be firm when purchased, and have a bright, tart taste that mellows into complexity when cooked. In the Northeast you can find them in the late summer. In this recipe, they were boiled whole and then blended with cilantro and other ingredients to make a green sauce.

This dish also ended up looking pretty exciting because we used deep purple potatoes rather than white ones:

Nightshade family reunion

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