avocado tomatillo salsa & fresh pico de gallo.

here’s my ideal situation:

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chips, guacamole, fresh pico de gallo, a creamy green salsa, and beer with lime.

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this avocado tomatillo salsa is inspired by the most delicious green salsa in town at rosita’s mexican grill in the greenlake neighborhood of seattle. my relationship with rosita’s runs deep and holds a very special place in my heart of the first years i lived in seattle.

my friend ashleigh and i were even in a very embarrassing tv news spot about rosita’s when we were having happy hour there once. the news guy had us talk to the camera about why we love rosita’s (my worst nightmare already - i am famous for awkward word vomit and i belong behind the camera, folks). Then after we had finished our margaritas & food he CAME BACK to ask us to record it ALL OVER AGAIN because his sound was off (double whammy nightmare post-margaritas).

all that to say…rosita’s green salsa is incredible and i wanted to try and recreate it at home. i’m not even 100% sure what is in their salsa, but the version i came up with was very goooooood.

i have a very vague guacamole recipe from like 4 years ago here on my blog. i will have to redo that guacamole post to make it more specific because it deserves it’s own spotlight!

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while i was at it, i wanted to add a super fresh pico de gallo recipe to my arsenal!

so i made all three recipes last friday afternoon, just in time for a weekend trip to visit my bestie and her hubs. there were rave reviews of all three items and we even did a funny little taste sesh to put their taste buds to the test to see how many flavors they could identify. v wild friday night! this is how i know i’m getting older….lol. but it was fun!

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there’s soooo much chopping involved here - making all three of these items at once is a labor of love.

i’d recommend putting a show up on your device and the time will fly as you chop chop chop away. the time spent is worth it for all these super delicious flavors that are ideal to share with a group or at a party!

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Avocado Tomatillo Salsa

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yields about 3 cups

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 large tomatillos, peeled and rinsed and cut in half

  • 3 large garlic cloves, kept in their skin

  • 2 TB extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/4 cup water (+ 1-3 TB extra)

  • 1 TB diced jalapeño

  • 1 serrano pepper, seeded & diced (optional, for extra heat)

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped white onion

  • 3/4 tsp. kosher salt

  • juice of 1/2 a large lime + some pulp

  • 1 TB. white vinegar

  • 1 medium avocado (I used 3/4 of a large avocado)

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F and line a baking sheet with tin foil. Place the cut tomatillos cut side down on the foil. Place the unpeeled garlic cloves on the tin foil as well. Roast the tomatillos and garlic for about 15 minutes, until very fragrant and tomatillos begin to brown and bubble. Remove from oven and let cool. Squeeze the garlic out of the skins; discard garlic skins.

In a large food processor, add the tomatillos, garlic, jalapeño, serrano pepper, olive oil and water. Process for a few minutes, until very well combined. Add the chopped cilantro, white onion, salt, vinegar and lime juice and process on high for a few more minutes until you can barely see the cilantro bits.

Finally, add the avocado to the food processor and run until the salsa is very smooth. Add 1-3 tablespoons of water until the salsa reaches desired thickness.

Chill in an airtight container before serving. Enjoy within one week.

Fresh Pico de Gallo

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yields about 3 cups

Ingredients:

  • 4 red roma tomatoes, diced and some seeds & juice removed

  • 1/2 cup of diced grape or cherry tomatoes

  • 1 cup finely minced white onion

  • 1 cup finely minced red onion

  • 1/2 a large jalapeño, finely diced

  • 1 serrano pepper, diced

  • 1/2 cup finely diced cilantro

  • juice of 1/2 a large lime, plus extra to taste

  • 1 tsp. kosher salt, plus extra to taste

  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Instructions-

Chop and dice all the vegetables as instructed and add to a large bowl. Toss thoroughly with a spatula. Season with salt, pepper and lime juice and toss with a spatula until all the ingredients are evenly distributed. Add extra salt or pepper as desired.

Chill in an airtight container before serving. Enjoy within 3 days.

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rainbow salad.

gang's all here!

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please don't side-eye the blueberries. i promise, it works!

blueberries are pretty earthy tasting, so their juiciness fits right in within this salad, and completes the rainbow.

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this salad is super hearty with the sweet potato and salami, very refreshing with all the crisp veggies, and ultra flavorful with the addition of the feta cheese and shallot vinaigrette. 

and the texture is also amazing! adding pepitas or sunflower seeds to salads is my jam. or yogurt bowls. or sandwiches, even! i've been having this veggie sandwich with sunflower seeds on it and it's quite goooood.

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i made a similar salad one night, and noticed it was almost a rainbow. i threw the blueberries in just for fun and was surprised how much i enjoyed it and that they really do jive with the other ingredients. pete went to serve some of this leftover salad later and he was like "what are these blueberries doing here?" lol. 

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par-blanching the red onion slices in a strainer makes them a super gorgeous translucent fuscia purple color and also takes away that initial bite and lingering flavor that red onion has. woot.

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besides, this thing is perdy as heck.

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Rainbow Salad and Shallot Vinaigrette

Time: 20 minutes

Serves 2-4

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium sweet potato, cubed and cooked
  • 2 cups fresh greens, chopped (I used spinach & romaine)
  • handful of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 10 slices salami, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh broccoli florets
  • 1/3 cup sliced green onion
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/3 cup sliced red onion, par blanched
  • 1/4 cup pepitas
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese crumbles

Shallot Vinaigrette:

  • 1 medium shallot clove, finely minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • pinch of salt

Instructions-

Heat 2 TB extra virgin olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Wash the sweet potato and cut into bite-sized cubes. Toss the sweet potato in the olive oil and add about 1/4 cup of water to the pan. Cover immediately and raise heat to medium-high. Let the sweet potatoes steam about 5-10 minutes. Once the water has evaporated, remove the lid, sprinkle with a good pinch of salt and toss the potatoes to lightly brown. Remove from heat.

Prepare the salad dressing while the sweet potatoes are cooking by combining all the dressing ingredients in a small jar and shaking vigorously. Store extras in the fridge. 

For the red onion, boil a kettle of water or a pot of about 5 cups water. Add the red onion slices to a strainer in the sink and pour the boiling hot water over. Rinse with cold water and drain. I like to do extra onions while I'm doing this step and store them in the fridge to have on hand for other salads, tacos, etc. 

Prepare all the remaining vegetables as instructed and toss in a large salad bowl, adding the sweet potatoes and tomatoes very last. Toss with a drizzle of the salad dressing to taste.

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