Plump gulf shrimp wrapped in a toasted tortilla and blanketed with a surprisingly addictive green apple salsa verde is the perfect meal to transition from the hot days of this Indian summer into the cool night of fall.
Green apple salsa verde is not something I would immediately think of when creating a salsa but it works on so many levels. One of my favorite summer salads is one we make with grilled tomatillos and plums. So when I was looking for a bright salsa with a touch of sweetness, adding fruit to salsa verde didn’t seem like a far flung idea. Looking around for something similar to what I had in mind, I found a recipe for Green Apple Salsa Verde in Tim Byers cookbook, Smoke: New Firewood Cooking (a must-have book especially if you like cooking over a fire). Of course, it was a delicious salsa verde but didn’t have that light green apple flavor I was looking for because the apples in that recipe are used for texture and not so much for the flavor. But after a few attempts we now have a salsa that’s bright, tart, and savory with a subtle green apple flavor that pairs incredibly well with sweet wild-caught gulf shrimp, pork chops, and grilled chicken.
Speaking of apples, I am craving fall like something fierce. We’re still in the upper 90’s here in north Texas which is making the idea of hot cider and camping in the cold hard to fathom. It’s like being wrapped in a hot wet wool blanket making the possibility of change like treading through quicksand. Hopefully, a cold front will blow all of this out soon and you can find me in the woods camping and cooking over an open flame.
Shrimp Tacos with Green Apple Salsa Verde
Until autumn hits, my nights are filled with cooking the remaining bounty summer has to offer and trying to merge it with the coming fall. Just like these shrimp tacos with green apple salsa verde — a little summer with a touch of fall. Plump gulf shrimp wrapped in a toasted tortilla and blanketed with a surprisingly addictive green apple salsa verde is the perfect meal to transition from the hot days of this Indian summer into the cool night of fall.
It begins with simmering tart tomatillos, savory onions and garlic, spicy jalapeños, and lightly sweet but refreshing Granny Smith apples. Once everything has become tender, the mixture is pureed with lime juice and cilantro in a blender until smooth. Then fresh diced apples are added for a delicious texture and it’s ready to be used on everything from shrimp tacos to seared pork chops.
Once the tortillas have been toasted until golden, peeled shrimp are seasoned with salt and chili powder and are then quickly sautéed.
Everything comes together with thinly sliced red onions for the most temptingly delicious taco. It’s one of those meals that excites and leaves you wanting more. Hope you enjoy!
Green Apple Salsa Verde
- 1 pound tomatillos, husked and halved
- 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and quartered
- 1/2 yellow onion, peeled and halved
- 2 jalapeños, halved and seeded
- 5 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1/3 cup cilantro
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 pounds 16/20 wild-caught shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 12 flour tortillas (preferably fresh)
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
In a large sauté pan or pot over high heat, combine tomatillos, 1 1/2 apples (reserve the remaining half), onion, jalapeños, and garlic with 2 1/2 cups of water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium and simmer until the tomatillos are a muted green and onion has softened, about 10 minutes. Leaving the cooking liquid behind, transfer the tomatillo mixture to a blender. Bring the remaining cooking liquid to a rapid simmer and simmer until reduced by half then add to the blender. Puree on high until smooth. Next, add cilantro, lime juice, and kosher salt and pulse until the cilantro has incorporated. Transfer salsa to a serving bowl. Finely dice the remaining apple and fold into the salsa. Salsa can be made 2 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator.
Season the shrimp with salt and chili powder. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté shrimp until cooked through, about 3 minutes.
Toast tortillas one at a time until lightly golden on a comal or skillet over medium-high heat or toast them in batches on a baking sheet under the broiler.
Fill tortillas with shrimp, salsa, and red onion. Serve immediately.