Salsa Verde con Aguacate
Green Sauce with Avocado
(Recipe: Zarela’s Veracruz, Houghton Mifflin, 2001
The original recipe called for mashing the ingredients by hand with a mortar and pestle and mixing in the chopped avocado and the cilantro at the end so that they keep their separate character in a coarse-textured sauce. Do it this way or follow an unorthodox approach that I’ve grown fond of, pureeing everything together very smooth in a food processor or blender.
Makes about 2 1/2 cups
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1 small white onion, coarsely chopped
2 – 3 (or to taste) fresh serrano or jalapeño chiles, coarsely chopped
6 – 8 average-sized tomatillos (about 1/2 pound), husks removed, cut into quarters
1 ripe Mexican-type avocado (Hass or Fuerte)
8 – 10 cilantro springs
Whether you are using mortar and pestle or a machine, most of the process is the same. In a food processor, blender, or heavy mortar, process or pound the garlic and salt to a paste. Add the onion, chiles, tomatillos; either process with an on-off motion to make
a slightly chunky paste or pound and mash the ingredients together as fine as possible. Scoop out the avocado flesh. For a smooth machine-finished puree, add it to the other ingredients with the cilantro and process very fine. If using the hand method, chop the avocado flesh fine and mash it into the onion-tomatillo mixture; chop the cilantro leaves and stir in. Or for a compromise version, pour the machine-processed onion-tomatillo mixture into a bowl and mix in the chopped avocado flesh along with the cilantro. Serve as soon as possible, certainly within an hour.