There are times when I just crave the tartness of a green salsa. And many of those times, I’m impatient. I want it NOW. I could seek counseling for my inability to deal with need and want. Or I can pick up a can of tomatillos.
I choose the can. Although you can make salsa from raw tomatillos, I prefer them cooked in some manner before going into the salsa. You can boil or roast them. Either way, with fresh tomatillos you have to peel them, then halve them if you are roasting, and there’s the mess and … There’s that can solution again: already with the leaves off, and already cooked.
All I have to do is not mess up with can opener and spill juice on the counter or floor. My lovely wife Suzen is fastidious about a kitchen free of mess, wet spots and sticky spots. She keeps finding them. I don’t know who puts them there.
This recipe produces a salsa that is tart but not overly so. The avocado adds to the green but of course contributes essential smoothness. This recipe calls for some heat, one serrano chile. Open up your vegetable bin and use what you have, just adjusting the amount depending on the actual type of chiles you have around.
What did I use? One poblano unroasted but washed, quartered and tossed into the blender. I was hotly happy with the results and very happy at my preparation time. I know the recipe says to refrigerate for up to two hours or until ready to use. I was ready then, and the next day the leftovers were even better. [Yes, the tomatillos had contributed some pectin so the next day required just a touch of stirring to loosen it up. That’s your chance to add some additional lemon or lime juice to brighten the flavor if you desire.]
This recipe comes from Fresh Mexico, a delightful book with 100 very authentic, very quick and very, very delicious recipes.
Easy Tomatillo Avocado Salsa
Yield: about two cups
- 8 ounces tomatillos from the can
- 1 avocado, halved, pitted and peeled
- ½ cup [packed] fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 serrano chile
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Combine the tomatillos, avocado, cilantro, serrano chile, and lemon juice in a blender and puree until smooth. Season the salsa to taste with salt and pepper.
Refrigerate for up to 2 hours or until ready to use.
Source: Fresh Mexico by Marcela Valladolid
“These will all take a week,” the man said. His wife frowned.
“We’ve been everywhere,” she said.
“Where have you been?” I asked. Suzen and I were at Adams Fairacres Market in Kingston, New York in search of avocados. Avocados that could be used the same day.
“We went to Sam’s Club and Walmart,” the husband said. “There are all these crates of fresh ones but nothing that can be used now.”
“Oh, dear,” Suzen said. She tugged at my sleeve. Her finger went to her mouth. I understood exactly what she meant. We were not going to tell anyone about our fallback: Hurley Ridge Market.
Which is where we found one, exactly one, ripe avocado. For the night’s party, we were to bring guacamole for fifteen. One avocado was going to make for slim portions.
But, we did have an ace in a hole. Another sauce, quite green, quite mellow, with a touch of avocado. This salsa is scrumptious on chips, and it pairs superbly with barbequed chicken or grilled fish.
We did not have the serrano chile called for here, but the poblano in our fridge was a noble substitute. We used our Vitamix, not a blender, when it came time to puree. The Vitamix was so powerful that we did not need the broth, which I believe left us with a much purer vegetable flavor.
Roasted Tomatillo and Cilantro Salsa [with Avocado, too]
Yield: 1 ½ cups
- 1 ½ pounds tomatillos, husked, rinsed and halved
- 2 small onions, outer skins removed and then halved
- 1 serrano chile, halved, stemmed, and seeded
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 head garlic, wrapped tightly in aluminum foil
- ½ cup chicken broth
- ½ avocado, halved, pitted, peeled and dice
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Preheat the oven to 350⁰F.
Put the tomatillos, onions and serrano chile on a baking sheet, all cut side up. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Put the foil-wrapped garlic on the same baking sheet. Roast for 45 minutes, or until the garlic and vegetables are soft and the edge of the vegetables are beginning to born. Let cool slightly.
Transfer the tomatillos, onion, and Serrano chile to a blender. Unwrap the garlic and squeeze the garlic cloves from their papery skins into the blender. Add the broth, and puree to a chunky texture.
This salsa can be made 1 day ahead up to this point. Just cool, cover, and refrigerate. The next day, the pectin in the tomatillos may have stiffened the salsa. Stir to loosen and add some liquid if necessary: water, lemon juice, lime juice.
Just before serving, fold the avocado and cilantro into the salsa and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Sources: Fresh Mexico by Marcela Valladolid