Living in Montreal is pretty awesome for a multitude of reasons. Food wise, we have more restaurants than we can possibly ever eat at. You can easily find authentic tasting cuisine from nearly every country in the world all in the span of a few blocks. We have an incredible selection of grocers, small and large, and it’s pretty easy to find nearly any special ingredient that you’re looking for. 

The one thing that we don’t have? Trader Joe’s. I love everything about Trader Joe’s, and I’ll take any opportunity I can get to cross the border just to have a taste of their delicious garlic na’an dipped in cowboy caviar. The thing is, I don’t often have this opportunity, so when I recently ran out, I knew I would have to either a) live without it, or b) make my own. Obviously, I went with option B. And let me tell you, as much as I love my TJ’s, now that I’ve made this, I no longer need to make as many trips down south.


Tomatillo Cowboy Caviar (Salsa Verde)

an original recipe by allison sklar 


  • 1 lb tomatillos husks removed, diced
  • 2 medium onions diced
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup corn kernels canned, or cooked
  • 1 cup black beans cooked
  • 2 tsp cumin seed
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1 diced jalapeno pepper more if you like it spicy
  • 1 tsp salt


  • Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Preheat oven to 375F.
  • In a large mixng bowl, combine tomatillos, onions, garlic, corn, black beans, cumin seed & oil.
  • Spread mixture onto baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.
  • Remove from oven.
  • Transfer about half of the mixture into a food processor or blender.
  • Add water, vinegar, cilantro, jalapeno & salt to blender.
  • Pulse until roughly chopped.
  • Transfer pulsed mixture, along with reserved half, to a large saucepan.
  • Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, simmering for about 45 minutes, until most of the liquid has reduced and sauce thickens.
  • Transfer to jar with airtight lid.
  • Allow to cool & refrigerate.
  • Best served cold.