There are certain meals that slap you out of a waking sleep. I remember the exact moment I first tasted this salsa verde con piña. I was in Sayulita, a sleepy little surf town with an easy break, just close enough to California for ex-pats to drive down and just far enough to keep away the droves of tourists. I had only been drifting around Mexico for a few months, my Spanish was barely passable, and I was living out of a backpack. After hitchhiking to the Pacific coast with a girl from landlocked Guanajuato, we had been lazing on the beach, licking the salt off each other’s napes, and drinking long-necked Pacificos for a week.
Sayulita is not the culinary capital of Mexico; it’s not even the culinary capital of Nayarit. We walked up from the beach to the main drag in a haze of heat and humidity, and plunked ourselves down on stools under the surfboard awning at another one of the beach-themed taquerias that you find everywhere from San Diego to Puerto Escondido. We ordered the classic deep fried white fish tacos served with a ‘crema’ that is usually watered down mayonnaise. Our expectations were low.
A day earlier, we had smoked mota and walked through a forest so thick with mangoes that they were plunking into the soil around our bare feet., then lay down on the black sand beach and scooped the dripping flesh from the fruit with our bare hands. The rich, pregnant taste of the mangoes had been ethereal. So when I reached for an American style squirt bottle of a yellowish salsa verde at a sidewalk taco stand, I was not expecting a life-changing bite. What I got was the sharp burn of serrano chiles, the acidic nip of tomatillos and the incredibly layered caramelized sweetness of charred pineapple. It was then, and remains now, one of the most incredible salsa I have ever tasted.
Salsa Verde con Piña – Green Salsa with Pineapple
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Makes roughly 500ml
- 6-8 tomatillos, peeled, rinsed and halved
- 2 serrano chile peppers
- 2 limes, juice only
- 1 clove of garlic, preferably a small one
- 1 fresh pineapple, peeled and sliced into wedges
- 4 sprigs of cilantro, chopped
- sea salt
- Grill tomatillos, garlic, serrano peppers and 1/2 of the pineapple wedges until charred.
- Blend in a food processor, then bring mixture to a boil in a pot. Simmer for ten minutes, season with salt.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Blend in the remaining pineapple, cilantro and lime juice. Taste and season again, if necessary.
- Eat on everything. It is sweet, sour and spicy amazing.
Nota: Dime si la no esta riquisimo.