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Roasted Tomatillo and Avocado Salsa

You may have remembered me mentioning a garden awhile back. This garden was supposed to be simple. Neat. Orderly. And produce perfect produce that never goes bad or gets bugs or spoils on the vine before we even have a chance to harvest it. Yeah, that was a dumb idea.

Vegetable gardens aren’t neat or orderly. Plants grow bigger than you expected or they don’t grow at all. They multiply and get big and bushy and start to flower before you can harvest their sweet smelling leaves (I’m looking at you basil.) And, most annoying, they get ripe whenever the heck they want. They don’t wait until I have time to make salsa. They take their sweet old time getting ripe and then, the busiest week of the summer, all of the sudden they’re ready to be picked. I’m telling you, plants are totally rude.

So two weeks ago-the week before vacation-the week where I had to finish everything for work, do laundry, clean the house, shop, and pack–the tomatillos decide to ripen. There I was with a big bushel of the shiny green things. It was either do something with the tomatillos right then, or let them rot and collect fruit flies for a whole week while we’re on vacation.

So I sucked it up and found a recipe and made this salsa. And I have to say, it was totally worth the inconvenience. Despite their complete disregard for my time and schedule, tomatillos make a darn good salsa. This salsa was tangy and sweet with a lovely kick of heat at the end. The avocado adds a nice creaminess and thickens this up so it clings nicely to a torilla chip. I had trouble stopping myself from eating an entire jar in one sitting. It’s that good.

I guess my little pain in the neck tomatillos have proven their worth after all. If they’re lucky, I may even let them back into the garden next year.

Roasted Tomatillo and Avocado Salsa
Yield: A LOT–I didn’t measure exactly but I’m guessing about 6-8 cups
Inspired by A Spicy Perspective 

Ingredients:1 1/2 lbs. tomatillos, husked and rinsed
1 large onion
5 cloves garlic
2 hot peppers (I’m not even sure what kind mine were, because they came in a generic “hot pepper mix” in our CSA, but you could use jalapenos or serranos)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt (table salt works fine too, I just like the bigger crystals)
1/2 cup cilantro
1 avocado
1 Tablespoon lime juice

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. 
2. Peel and chop the onions into quarters. On a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil, place tomatillos, onions, garlic, and hot peppers. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Place in oven and roast for 15-20 minutes. The outsides of the vegetables should be blistered. 
3. While the vegetables are roasting, remove the avocado from the peel and cut in half. Leave one half intact. Using a knife, coarsely chop the other half into small chunks.
4. Remove the roasted vegetables from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Slice open the hot peppers and remove most of the seeds. If you’re a fan or REALLY hot salsa you can leave all the seeds in place. I, for one, am not so brave. 
5. Place tomatillos, onions, peppers, and garlic into a food processor or blender (I used a blender and it worked fine). Pulse until smooth. 
6. Add the cumin, salt, cilantro, lime juice and half of avocado that has not been chopped. Pulse again until thoroughly combined. 
7. Transfer mixture to a large storage container or bowl for serving. Stir in chopped avocado. Garnish with cilantro and extra lime juice if desired. 


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