Mediterranean Salsa

Mediterranean SalsaI know southern Californians are spoiled when it comes to weather, and I know people don’t have a lot of sympathy for us when we complain about it, BUT…this heat is ridiculous!! Come on, 93 degrees in October!! I am dying to cook some yummy, cozy, warming fall dinners, but I can not get motivated when it is so darn hot out.

So, while I pine away for fall weather, here is the Mediterranean salsa recipe that I promised in my last post. It goes great with my Grilled Mediterranean Meatballs. It would also pair really well with chicken, fish, or just as an appetizer with pita chips or tortilla chips. I kept this version pretty simple because I didn’t want to take away from the flavor of the meatballs, but if you added a little crumbled feta, chopped kalamata olives, or both…it would be delicious! Try it as a topping on some crostini and you would have an awesome bruschetta!

Mediterranean meatballs with salsaMediterranean Salsa

For a printable version of this recipe, click here

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 medium sized tomatoes of choice, seeded and chopped (I used a couple heirloom and a couple roma)
  • 1 hothouse cucumber, seeded and diced (cut in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds with a small spoon)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion (about 1/4 of a red onion)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • a mix of chopped fresh parsley and basil (about 1/3 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons of good olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
  • fresh ground pepper and kosher salt to taste

Optional add-ins:

  • crumbled feta cheese (this is great if you are serving it as a dip for pita chips!!)
  • chopped kalamata olives
  • diced avocado

Directions:

Combine all of the ingredients and mix well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

 

 

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Avocado and Tomatillo Relish

Fresh, tangy, and just a little spicy!

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I made this fresh green salsa for a little catering gig that I had this week. Yes, you heard me… A CATERING GIG! I made some Latin-ish (I know, not a real word) appetizers for a fabulous group of ladies at a beautiful home in Laguna Beach. This yummy salsa or “relish” as I like to call it, made an appearance on a little corn cake appetizer that I made for the party. Stay tuned for the corn cake recipe…they were delicious!

The combo of the bright and tangy flavor of the tomatillos combined with the creamy smooth avocado is a winner! There is just a smidgen of honey that balances out the acidity of the lime and tomatillo. You could use this in so many ways. It would be delicious on fish or chicken, in a carnitas taco, or just served with chips (that could be dinner for me :)). Even my non salsa eating 6 year old loved this because he likes avocados so much.

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I cook with tomatillos a lot, but I have never actually used them without cooking them first. Their flavor is brighter and bolder when they are raw. I love it…and you will too!

IMG_1194The next time you are serving any sort of Mexican food, this Tomatillo and Avocado Relish MUST make an appearance! As I said earlier, I used it on these yummy little corn cakes. They were great like this as an appetizer, but even better when I served them topped with black beans and the relish for dinner the other night. Don’t worry…I will share it with you soon!

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If you haven’t used tomatillos before, don’t let them scare you. You will find them in the produce section and they are covered with little green paper-ish husks. When you are ready to use them, remove the husks and wash them well. They have a sort of sticky film on them that rinses off.

As for the heat in this, I used jalapenos. I went with one because I didn’t want too much heat. You could use 2 or use a serrano if you want a spicier relish.

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Tomatillo and Avocado Relish

Adapted from a Bobby Flay recipe

Ingredients:

  • 6 -8 tomatillos (depending on size), husked & washed
  • 3 firm-ripe avocados, diced
  • 1 – 2 jalapenos (depending on level of heat you want) chopped very small
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 2 teaspoons of honey
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 small bunch of cilantro, chopped
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Dice half of your tomatillos and put in a bowl. Add the diced avocado,  the jalapenos, the garlic, the shallot, the green onions, and the cilantro. Cut the rest of your tomatillos in quarters and put in a small food processor or blender. Add the lime juice and honey and pulse a few times until the tomatillos are chopped small. Don’t over puree, you want to keep a little texture. Add the mix in with the diced tomatillos and the avocado along with some salt (start with 1/2 teaspoon) and pepper and gently mix well. Taste for seasoning. This will keep in an air tight container for about 2 days.


Roasted Salsa Verde

This is the Salsa that I served with my Empanadas. It’s a great simple green mild salsa that is delish with chips, great as a green enchiladas sauce, or for dunking empanadas in!

All you do is roast 2-3 poblano chilies, about 10-12 tomatillos (husked and washed well), a half of an onion (no need to chop), and a couple of garlic cloves on a foil lined baking sheet at 400 degrees for about 30 min. You don’t want to blacken the veggies, just get them nice and soft. Once they are done and cooled, peel and seed the chilies and throw them and the rest of the roasted veggies into a blender or food processor with a handful of cilantro, some salt, and a squeeze of lime…blend well!