Endless Summer

Tomatillo Salsa

I love summer and this time of year, as the days get shorter and the nights get cooler, I avoid looking at the calendar and try to extend the season as long as possible. And while this sometimes means I make questionable choices (like wearing flip flops at Thanksgiving), with food it means trying to enjoy my summer favorites as long as they’re availble locally.

This year, Mother Nature seems to agree with me: the Northeast last few weeks have been full of sunshine and my farmer’s market is still full of warm weather vegetables. This weekend, with temperatures in the mid-80’s, I avoided the pumpkins and apples already for sale and picked up some tomatillos to make salsa and a riff on gazpacho. Great with steak or fish, the salsa can also be the base for enchilladas. The gazpacho has avocado, which adds a creamier texture to the soup.

Turn up the air conditioning!

Steak with Tomatillo-Poblano Salsa

Makes 4 to 6 servings

2 pounds of steak, about 1-1/2 to 2 inches thick (I usually like it with hanger or skirt)

salt and pepper to taste

canola oil for sauteing

Salsa:

8-10 small tomatillos (about 1-1/2 cups), husked and cored

3 poblanos, roasted, peeled and chopped

1 cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves

1 jalapeno, seeds removed (if desired) and chopped

1 teaspoon vinegar or lime juice

Salt and pepper to taste

  1. To cook the steak: Season the steaks with salt and pepper. Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add enough canola oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan. Carefully add the steaks to the pan and cook, about 4-5 minutes on each side for medium rare, flipping the steaks when they develop a well browned exterior. Remove the steaks from the pan and rest on a platter for 5-10 minutes before serving.
  2. For the salsa: Place all the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth.Thin sauce with cold water if too thick.

 

Tomatillo Gazpacho

Makes 4-6 bowls

2 pounds tomatillos, cored and chopped

1 seedless cucumber

1 medium onions, peeled and chopped

1 avocado, halved, pitted and peeled

1 small jalapeno

2 garlic cloves

2 tablespoons lime juice

2 tablespoons mint leaves

2 tablespoons cilantro leaves

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

  1. Combine the tomatillos, cucumber, onions, avocado, jalapeno, garlic and lime juice in a blender and puree until smooth. Add the herbs and olive oil and puree again briefly. Taste and season with salt and pepper.