I met my husband, Matt, 10 years ago in a college geology class. It was a field course that focused on the Grand Staircase, an area of Utah and Arizona that includes the Grand Canyon, Zion, and Bryce National Parks.
We spent 10 days hiking around together, looking at rocks, and becoming great friends. When the trip was over, we both felt like our relationship had the potential to develop into something more, but Matt was moving away for the summer to work on his grandparents’ ranch 3 hours away, so I did what any love struck girl would do, and followed him there.
The ranch life was like nothing I had experienced. It was wheat harvest time, and Matt spent 11 hours each day behind the wheel of a combine. I often rode along with him. We got one radio station, a classic rock station, and soon we knew each others entire life stories, and could sing along to any Eagles song that you could name.
Every morning his grandpa would bring us breakfast burritos from a little store in town before they headed to the field. The burritos were so greasy that the paper bag they came in was often spotted with grease that had soaked through the foil wrapper, and inside the bag was always a ramekin of salsa verde to pour over the burrito.
Matt is no longer farming, but instead he was so inspired on our class geology trip that he became a geologist. And we would probably both pass on the greasy breakfast burritos these days, but I often do make a healthier version at home. I also always make some of this salsa verde to go on the side, so I can spoon some on, bite by bite, just like we did on the ranch.
Salsa Verde gets its green color from using tomatillos instead of tomatoes. Tomatillos may resemble green tomatoes, but they are much more tart. Roasting them however brings out a naturally sweet and almost citrus like flavor. Salsa verde is great with fresh homemade corn tortillas, and it also pairs rather nicely with scrambled eggs.
1.5 pounds tomatillos
1/2 large red onion
3 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
1 lime, juiced
1 tablespoon agave
1 teaspoon ground cumin
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 375°. Prepare the vegetables, remove the husk from the tomatillos and wash off the sticky film, cut the stem off of the jalapenos, peel and cut the onion into quarters, and peel the garlic. Place the vegetables onto a large parchment lined baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil over the vegetables and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook the vegetables in the oven until the skin of the tomatillos are wrinkled and peeling back and the edges of the onion pieces are brown. Remove the vegetables from the oven and let cool slightly (about 5 minutes) before transferring to a blender. Add the cilantro, lime juice, agave, and cumin to the blender and puree all of the ingredients together. Serve warm with eggs and fresh homemade tortillas or chips.