If there is one thing that definitely puts me in a summer state of mind it would be chips and salsa! It's universal appeal, simple ingredients and big flavors appeal to the summer mood and palate. When the temps get raised along with our glasses what could be more relaxing and fun then sipping your favorite margarita or mescal on the porch and enjoying this simple snack? When you are more concerned with enjoying yourself then spending laborious amounts of time in the kitchen in order to get there, a simple salsa can really wow!
With salsa, you can make a lot at once, play with the ingredients and share with friends easily. Best of all, salsa gets even better after it sits in the fridge for a day or two when the flavors really have time to settle and develop.
My absolute favorite number one salsa to make is a recipe I adapted from my favorite Mexican cuisine expert and chef, Rick Bayless (fun fact: we share the same birthday). The first time I made his recipe for crunchy tomatillo-avocado salsa was almost 8 years ago and I find myself coming back to it time and time again, adding a couple of my own twists.
All things green are involved in this refreshing and bright salsa. Rick's recipe includes all of the above minus the limes and garlic. I think the garlic adds a little edge to the flavor and the lime juice obviously adds freshness and tangy acidity. Another benefit of using lime juice is added natural preservation. The salsa is made using a food processor which means you can pretty much toss all of the ingredients in together and pulse away. The only hard work involved is dicing 1 avocado, half of the tomatillos and the white onion. Luckily, as with many culinary adventures, it's not that hard of work and it's really worth it when you end up with a perfectly balanced creamy and crunchy salsa delight.
8 oz green tomatillos, husked and rinsed
1/2 cup cilantro
1-2 chiles, serrano or jalapeño roughly chopped
1 ripe avocado
1 small white onion, diced into 1/4in pieces
2-3 cloves garlic (optional)
juice of 1 lime (optional)
1/4 cup of water
salt to taste
Roughly chop half of the tomatillos and add them to the food processor with the cilantro, chiles and garlic (optional). Pulse all together with the 1/4 cup of water until a slushy consistency is reached. Scrape one half of the avocado flesh into the food processor and pulse until incorporated. Pour the contents of the food processor into a mixing or serving bowl. Dice the remaining tomatillos and stir them into the puree with the diced white onion. Using a crosshatch pattern dice the other half of the avocado and scrape the pieces into the salsa, gently stirring to combine. Finally, add salt to taste and squeeze juice from one lime (optional) over the salsa and gently stir to combine. You can serve immediately but the flavor really pops after sitting in the fridge overnight.
I often double this recipe and freeze half so I have it readily on hand. Keeps in the fridge for one week.