Tomatillos can be used raw or prepared in one of many ways – roasting, boiling, simmering. That way I like to do them is roasting them over fire – especially if you have an open fire-pit outdoors. You can make makeshift an open fire-pit indoors with a grate placed over gas stove burner, then give some color to your tomatillos. This recipe specifically uses oven-roasted tomatillos for ease of preparation. Use fresh or store refrigerated for one week.


  • 1 pound tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and halved if larger than a silver dollar

  • 1/2 cup sliced yellow or white onion

  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled

  • 1 serrano chile, stemmed

  • 1 poblano chile, stemmed, seeded, and sliced

  • Vegetable oil for drizzling

  • Kosher salt

  • Juice from 2 limes

Guerrilla Tacos by Wes Avila and Richard Parks III


Place a rack at the highest possible position in your oven and preheat the broiler.

Put the tomatillos, onion, garlic, and both chiles on a large baking sheet. Drizzle lightly with vegetable oil, season with salt, and gently toss with your hands to lightly coat the vegetables. Broil for 10 minutes, remove from the oven and toss the vegetables once with a spatula, then broil for another 5 minutes. You’re looking for the vegetables to be nicely roasted and slightly blackened in spots.

Slide the contents of the baking sheet into a food processor and pulse until chunky but not liquified or fully blended. There should be chunks of the chiles and flecks of roasted skin. Add the lime juice and pulse once more to incorporate. Season with salt. Use fresh or refrigerate for up to one week.

Reprinted with permission from Guerrilla Tacos: Recipes from the Streets of L.A. by Wesley Avila and Richard Parks III. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

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