Cooking with Cannabis: Terpene Fortified Tomatillo Cannabis Leaf Salsa Verde

By Sebastian Carosi
Published: August 30, 2019 | Last updated: April 9, 2021 05:26:53
Key Takeaways

Lucky for most of us the outdoor cannabis harvest and the end of the garden season usually coincide with each other and this leads to some dank salsas.

I usually reserve my heirloom tomatoes for slicing and not salsa making. My favorite salsa, however, is definitely salsa verse, made from tart, green, husk-covered tomatillos (a.k.a. tomate verde, mexican husk tomatoes, jamberrys, or little tomatoes. Call them whatever you want, I call them delicious).


Lucky for most of us the outdoor cannabis harvest and the end of the garden season usually coincide with each other and this leads to some dank salsas in our household. Although there are only 11 states that allow legal recreational cannabis use, it is fairly easy to get your hands on cannabis fan leaves.

The combination of citrusy fresh tomatillos, refreshingly piquant fresh cannabis leaves, cilantro, jalapeños, and lime juice make an incredibly fresh and vibrant salsa that is fruity, slightly herbaceous, definitely tart, and acidic. Using water-soluble cannabis sugar will help tame and balance the tartness of the late-season tomatillos while roasting or charring helps concentrate the flavors and adds some depth and sweetness. Without much aroma in the tomatillos, cilantro is the flavor star in this salsa, and the terpene profile of cilantro is by majority linalool (55 per cent).


Read also: Hydroponic Mexican Cuisine

Some of the other terpenes that make up that unmistakable aroma of cilantro are pinene, myrcene, cymene, and limonene. Like sweet sun-kissed tangerines, with limonene the aroma is precise. Limonene is the second most common terpene in nature, is prominent in cannabis, and is a wonderful aromatic addition to the cilantro and fresh lime juice. We usually can 20 pints or more of this salsa, filling the larder to make it through the winter months without a garden — I call it provisioning properly.

Enjoy this as a salsa or use it to braise a heritage bread pork shoulder. Either way you win.


Tomatillo Cannabis Leaf Salsa Verde Recipe

PREP TIME: 20 minutes
COOK TIME: 15 minutes
SERVINGS: 1-1½ quarts
TOTAL THC/CBD: 50mg THC / 50mg CBD


  • Cast iron skillet
  • Tongs
  • Blender
  • Cutting board
  • Chef’s knife
  • Large bowl
  • Blender


  • 3 lbs. organic tomatillos (husks removed by soaking in a bowl of warm water)
  • 1 large sweet onion (peeled and medium diced)
  • 6 cloves of garlic left in their peel
  • 1 bunch of organic cilantro (rough chopped, stems and all)
  • 1 cup fresh cannabis leaves
  • 3 jalapeno peppers (depending on how hot you want your salsa)
  • 3 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • ½ cup water (depending on your overall desired consistency)
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 5 packets cannabis sugar (10mg THC / 10mg CBD each packet)
  • 1 tbsp. sea salt flakes
  • 2 drops isolated limonene
  • 1 tsp. fresh cracked pepper


  1. In a hot, dry-cast iron skillet over med-high heat, place the tomatillos, peppers, and the garlic cloves in their peel.
  2. Sear the vegetables on all sides until lightly charred, moving around with the tongs.
  3. Remove the vegetables from the pan and let them cool to room temperature, then peel the garlic.
  4. Place the cooked vegetables and all the remaining ingredients in a blender.
  5. Pulse until the mixture reaches your desired consistency.
  6. Adjust seasonings (lime juice, salt, pepper, and cumin) mix well.
  7. Add the limonene and mix well.
  8. Place in a container and cool overnight in the fridge before serving.


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Written by Sebastian Carosi | Chef, Leader of Farm 2 Fork

Profile Picture of Sebastian Carosi

Chef Sebastian Carosi trained at Portland’s Western Culinary Institute, apprenticed with renowned chefs in Italy, and went on to lead the Farm 2 Fork movement in New England and the mid-Atlantic states. Find him on Instagram at @chef_sebastian_carosi.

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