Though an avid appreciator of salsa in its chunky, vegetable-laden form, I’ve never really been able to get behind salsas and dips of the creamy variety. I don’t know if it’s a texture issue or what, but dipping a crispy fried chip into a bowl of creamy sauce has always felt sort of odd. The two dispositions of the chip and dip are so different, and yet so uniformly rich, it just feels like gilding the lily to combine one with the other. At least, that’s what I used to think, until I innocently whipped up a batch of this super creamy, super flavorful salsa and, oh, man, I now think there can never be enough of this salsa available in the world at any given time. Mark my words, if I know this salsa is available anywhere, at any time, I am going on a one-woman mission to find it and eat it. All of it.
This salsa is other-worldly. The absolutely spot-on spiciness of the jalapenos is expertly balanced by the cool creaminess of the avocado and sour cream, and the tartness of the tomatillos and citrus works effortlessly to round everything out. With bunches of fresh herbs and just the right amount of kicky garlic, I don’t think there is a more perfect creamy salsa in existence. It’s cool, spicy, and complex, and it practically begs to dress up a crisp, cold salad. I am also willing to bet that this salsa, folded into a pile of freshly poached or grilled chicken that has been shredded and combined with some punchy chunks of bell pepper, would make the best chicken salad known to all of humankind. If I hadn’t already eaten all of this particular batch of salsa you see here, I would be making that exact chicken salad right now. Which reminds me, I need to buy some more avocados. And tomatillos. And sour cream. Excuse me, I have to go now.
I still can’t say I am a convert to all creamy salsas and dips (my preference still sits firmly in the chunky vegetable camp), but this entry into the fray certainly goes a long way towards persuading me that perhaps I should pay a little more attention to the world of creamy salsas. If they taste half as good as this salsa, I can only imagine what I’ve been missing out on all these years.
Creamy Tomatillo and Avocado Salsa
2 fresh jalapeno peppers
4 fresh tomatillos (or green tomatoes, if you’re looking for a use for them)
2 ripe avocados, peeled and pitted
½ small yellow onion, chopped
1 cup chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
¼ cup chopped cilantro
4 large cloves garlic, chopped
juice of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lime
1 cup sour cream (the original recipe called for low fat, but I used full fat and it was just fine)
salt and pepper to taste
In a small saucepan, cover the jalapenos and tomatillos (or green tomatoes) with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook at a simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat, drain, and allow to cool slightly.
In a blender or food processor, combine the cooked jalapenos and tomatillos, avocado flesh, onion, parsley, cilantro, garlic, and lemon and lime juice. Blend or process on low speed for 20 seconds until pureed, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. Pour the mixture into a medium bowl and stir in the sour cream. Add salt and pepper to taste.
If you desire a less spicy salsa (though this is not what I would call a super spicy salsa, it definitely has a bit of a kick to it), you can cut open the jalapenos after cooking and scrape out the seeds. Your salsa will still have some spice to it, but it will be markedly less so than if you had left the seeds intact.