Tomatillos arrived this week! My husband (who you may remember, hails from New Mexico) cannot be happier. So for his birthday this week, I’ve cooked up this roasty, toasty, creamy tomatillo vinaigrette. It’s a super versatile dressing that is lovely on just about anything, from grilled chicken to a simple green salad. Here I serve it on a fresh avocado, tomato, and corn salad. It’s my personal celebration of the flavors of summer. The hot and hazy season feels to be at its peak right now so a light refreshing salad like this one is just what the doctor ordered.
Serves 6/Makes about 1 cup vinaigrette
3 tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed, and halved widthwise
3 medium shallots, halved
1 jalapeno, halved lengthwise
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small garlic clove, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/3 cup firmly packed, roughly chopped cilantro (leaves and stems)
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons creme fraiche
1 ear corn, husked
2 medium avocados, halved, pitted, and sliced (sprinkle with a little lime juice to keep the avocado from browning)
4 small tomatoes, sliced
1/2 small head butter lettuce, leaves torn
Sprigs of cilantro, to garnish
Sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste
- First, make the vinaigrette: Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- In a small roasting pan, drizzle the tomatillos, shallots, and jalapeno with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until everything is browned and softened.
- Remove from the oven and add 6 tablespoons of water to the pan, swirling it around to pick up all the liquid and cooked bits in the pan. Pour the contents of the roasting pan (along with the water and all the browned bits) into a blender with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, garlic, cumin, lime juice, and cilantro. Blend until smooth. If you like, you can stop here and the dressing will have a lightly creamy texture from the tomatillos. Have a taste and season with salt. If you’d like a smoother, creamier texture, add the creme fraiche and blend again, just until combined.
- To make the salad: In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the corn until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain the corn, cool slightly, and cut the kernels from the ears.
- On a large platter, layer the avocado and tomato in an alternating pattern. Tuck the torn pieces of lettuce into the layering, sprinkle over the corn, and garnish with cilantro sprigs. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle over 1/4 cup of the tomatillo vinaigrette and serve with more vinaigrette on the side for passing. Use leftover vinaigrette on grilled chicken, fish, or any other salad your imagination can dream up.
Nutritional analysis for salad based on 6 servings:
Calories 114, Fat 7g, Sodium 9mg, Carbohydrate 13g, Fiber 5g, Sugar 2g, Protein 3g
Nutritional analysis for dressing based on 2 tablespoon serving:
Calories 46, Fat 4g, Sodium 2mg, Carbohydrate 2g, Fiber 0g, Sugar 1g, Protein 0g