As it is in many large cities, the food culture in Houston is unique for the region. For example, Ninfa’s serves two or more sauces or salsas with hot tortilla chips. Ninfa’s green sauce was first developed by “Mama” Lorenzo back in the 1970s. It spread throughout the city and has been copied so many times it’s odd not to be served alongside the regular tomato or chile-based salsa found in most cities.
While this blog is not an advertisement for Legacy restaurants or the Lorenzo family, I have been asked locally how this sauce is made (because it is so fantastic). This recipe yields a quart of sauce (more than you may need), which we give away to neighbors and friends. While the sauce is great with hot tortilla chips, it is equally as good spooned over shrimp, fish tacos, fajitas, enchiladas, tamales, eggs, burritos, cowboy beans you get the picture.
The recipe calls for fresh green tomatoes. Unfortunately, these are not always available in every area, but many grocery stores carry green heirloom tomatoes and yellow tomatoes. These can be substituted for the regular green tomato; however, never use red tomatoes for this sauce. It will affect the flavor.
- chef knife
- cutting board
- measuring cups and spoons
- food processor or blender
- 2-4 tomatoes, green, roughly chopped
- 2-3 tomatillos, husks removed and rinsed, roughly chopped
- 3-4 whole jalapeños or serranos tops removed roughly chopped
- 3 large cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
- 3 tbsp cilantro, chopped
- 3 whole avocados, ripe, peeled with seeds removed
- 1 ½ cup sour cream
- ½ juice of a lemon (citrus helps preserve the bright green color)
- 1 tbsp salt
Prep the ingredients
- Start by peeling the garlic and mince with salt. Reserve
- Peel and chop tomatillos into chunks.
- Cut the green tomato into chunks, mince the cilantro and measure out the sour cream.
- In a medium pot over medium-high heat, add the green tomato, tomatillos, jalapeños, and garlic. Cook briefly for about 2 minutes. Lower the temperature to medium-low and partially cover with a lid.
- As the tomatoes release their juice, bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.
- After 10-15 minutes, remove from heat.
- Once the mixture has cooled (about 20 minutes), add avocado and cilantro in batches to a blender and blitz until thoroughly mixed.
- Pour the contents into a large mixing bowl and whisk with sour cream and lemon juice.
- Chill for 1 hour to blend flavors thoroughly.
- Serve the Green Sauce with warm corn tortillas chips or use as a sauce for other Mexican-style savory dishes.
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