Tomatillo Tomato Salsa

It’s Fourth of July week, so all week I’ll be posting recipes perfect for your party on the Fourth. Here’s a highly addictive, delicious salsa that’s easy to make and has a wonderfully complex flavor on account of the roasting. Get your salsa on!


Tomatillo Tomato Salsa

Yield: 2 cups

¾ pounds tomatillos, husks removed

1 small orange bell pepper

1 head garlic, cloves separated and skins left on

1 medium jalapeno

1½ tablespoons grapeseed oil

1 small heirloom tomato, cut into medium sized chunks

1 cup fresh cilantro, stems and leaves, chopped roughly

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, plus more to taste

Set an oven rack to the upper middle position and put oven on broil.

Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil.

Place tomatillos, bell pepper, garlic cloves and jalapeno on the sheet pan. Drizzle over the oil to coat everything. (You may have to rub the produce around on the pan to coat it with oil on all sides.)

Place sheet pan under broiler. Set timer for 5 minutes.

After 5 minutes, take a peek. You are looking for blistered, blackened skin. Once the produce is blackened, using metal tongs, flip items to achieve the same effect on the other side.

Once all sides are blackened, remove from oven and place on a plate to cool.

All of my garlic was blistered by 8 minutes and my tomatillos and jalapeno were out of the oven by 15 minutes.

The pepper will take the longest. Flip until all sides have some blackened, blistered marks. My pepper was done in 20 minutes.

Once produce is cool, cut stem off jalapeno and cut into large chunks, remove garlic from skins (discard skins) and remove stem and seeds from the bell pepper and cut into large chunks.

At this time, place all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until desired consistency is achieved, around 10 to 15 1-second pulses. Taste salsa and add additional salt and lime juice as needed. Stir to combine (do not process anymore so you can maintain a nice texture to your salsa). Transfer to bowl and serve.

Week of recipes in review: asparagus, chocolate, cherries and strawberries

Just in case you missed last week’s recipes and/or are trying to plan your weekend menu and shopping list, don’t forget about these goodies which I posted on my blog last week.


Recipes in Review June 16 Week

Strawberry Kale Salad (top left)

Vanilla Cherry Clafoutis (top right)

Angel Hair Pasta with Asparagus, Lemon and Ricotta (bottom right)


Blueberry Ginger Smoothie

USA just advanced to the final 16 in the World Cup, so let’s celebrate with something BLUE from red, white and blue! This blueberry ginger smoothie is not only delicious, it’s super healthy as blueberries contain lots of antioxidants. Plus it has cinnamon which the City of Hope considers a superfood in addition to blueberries. So, drink up!


Blueberry Ginger Smoothie


Blueberry Ginger Smoothie

Yields: 2 ½ cups


1 10-ounce bag frozen blueberries

1 large banana

1 cup almond milk

½ cup nonfat Greek yogurt

1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon freshly grated ginger


Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until thoroughly combined. If you prefer a thinner consistency, add additional almond milk to your liking.

Rice Noodle Salad with Fresh Mango and Snap Peas

When mangos start selling for a dollar (or less) each, Super Sous and I stock up. We consume those beautiful golden and crimson fruits raw (usually standing over the kitchen sink), in sorbets (sometimes a small dollop in a glass of prosecco!), diced and added to yogurt, in fresh fruit salads, etc. With an excess of mangos in the house, I decided to put it to use in savory dishes. And so this recipe was born. The sweet of the mango and spice from the jalapeno is a fun juxtaposition as you crunch on snap peas and slurp the noodles. It’s quick to prepare and it’s the kind of noodle dish that, once eaten, becomes a regular weekly craving. (I know this to be true firsthand because ever since I created this recipe, I have had to make this for Super Sous on the regular!)

Rice Noodle Salad with Fresh Mango and Snap Peas


Rice Noodle Salad with Fresh Mango and Snap Peas

Yield: 3 to 4 servings


1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger

1 1/2  tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar

11/2 teaspoons lime juice

1 teaspoon sesame oil

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

In a small container with a tight fitting lid, combine the vinaigrette ingredients, close the lid tightly, and shake to combine. Or, whisk to combine the ingredients in a small bowl.

1/3 package rice noodles, aka stir fry noodles

1 ripe mango, peeled, seeded, and diced small

1/4 cup hand torn mint leaves

1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves

1/4 cup scallions, sliced thinly

1 cup sugar snap peas, strings removed, cut thinly on a bias

½ hothouse cucumber peeled, sliced in half lengthwise, seeded & sliced thinly on a bias

1 small red bell pepper, seeded and diced small

¼ small jalapeno, seeded, veined and sliced thinly

Kosher salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, for garnish

In a medium saucepot, bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Remove from heat and add noodles. Stir occasionally and let sit in water for 8 to 10 minutes until the noodles are al dente. Drain and rinse the noodles thoroughly in cold water.  (As noodle cooking instructions can vary, please read and make any adjustments to cooking method according to box instructions.)

In a medium bowl, add vinaigrette to the noodles and add the rest of the salad ingredients. Mix to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper, if needed. Divide onto plates and sprinkle toasted sesame seeds overtop each serving.



Raw Asparagus Salad

Last call for asparagus! Make this quick and easy salad in only minutes – you’ll be delighted by the elegance and taste (and so will your guests)!

Raw Asparagus Salad



Raw Asparagus Salad

Yield: 2 to 3 servings


1 pound asparagus, ½-inch of ends cut off and discarded

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

kosher salt, to taste

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

small block of Parmigiano-reggiano cheese, not pre-grated


Cut off tops of asparagus and set aside.

In a small container with a tight fitting lid, combine the lemon juice and olive oil, close the lid tightly, and shake well to combine. Or, whisk to combine the ingredients in a small bowl.

Thinly slice half of the asparagus on a bias. Thinly slice the other half of the asparagus into rounds.

Add the asparagus, thin slices and tops, to a medium bowl. Add half of the dressing and gently toss to combine. Season to taste with salt, pepper and additional dressing as needed.

Divide onto plates and, using a vegetable peeler, shave thin slices of Parmigiano-reggiano over each plate. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.



Vanilla Cherry Clafoutis

It’s still cherry season and I can’t, in good conscience, let you go through the whole season without making my Vanilla Cherry Clafoutis. It’s a French egg based dessert (I may have even, ahem, made it for breakfast) and it’s SO EASY to prepare. Seriously, the hardest part of this recipe is pitting the cherries. (Mainly hard to pit cherries without eating them all). But, if you can get through that – you’re home free and you have something delicious to feast on. This one is straight from my cookbook, Great Food Starts Fresh, in the Spring season/chapter. Now, go forth and Clafoutis!


Vanilla Cherry Clafoutis


Vanilla Cherry Clafoutis

Yield: 8 servings


4 large eggs

4 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided

¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (zest of 1 lemon), grated on a Microplane

⅛ teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup whole milk

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 pint fresh sweet cherries, halved and pits removed (2 cups)

Confectioners’ sugar, for serving


Adjust an oven rack to the middle position, then preheat the oven to 425ºF.

Combine the eggs with 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar on low speed in a blender for 10 seconds.

Gradually add the flour, lemon zest, salt, vanilla, and milk until well blended, 30 seconds.

Let rest undisturbed for at least 5 minutes. This time allows the flour to absorb the liquid resulting in a better finished texture.

Combine the butter, cherries and the remaining granulated sugar in a medium, oven-safe, non-stick sauté pan, over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for approximately 5 minutes until the cherries are soft and a syrup has formed.

Pour the egg mixture evenly over the sweet, hot cherries (sounds sexy, right?). Transfer the sauté pan into the oven and bake, uncovered, for approximately 15 minutes, or until the crispy brown edges have puffed up and the middle of the clafoutis is golden brown.

Remove from the oven and, using a spatula, slide the clafoutis out onto a cutting board.

Slice and serve on dessert plates dusted with confectioners’ sugar.

Note: If you happen to be a bigger fan of orange than lemon, feel free to substitute the zest of 1 large orange (1 tablespoon) for the lemon zest, and substitute 1 teaspoon Grand Marnier for the vanilla extract.

Strawberry Kale Salad

In California, we are spoiled. Not only do we have kale year round, but we have strawberries as well. So, it seems only natural to pair the two: beautiful green, slightly bitter kale with bright sweet vibrant strawberries. So, here’s my take on it. One caveat: how you cut your kale will greatly affect the flavor of this dish. Some people massage their kale with a little olive oil and salt to relax the tough leaves and remove some of that bitterness. Although this does work, for this salad, I like creating a light, fluffy (yes, fluffy) texture from the curly kale I use. How do you achieve such fluffiness, you may ask? Chiffonade your kale. Remove the stems, stack the leaves, roll them tightly into a cigar shape and slice ever – so – thinly. The taste and texture turn out remarkable.

This is what I’m talking about – super thin/chiffonade – it may take a few more minutes in prep time, but once you try your kale salads this way, you’ll never do otherwise!

Kale Chiffonade


And here’s the salad of the hour:

Strawberry Kale Salad Overhead



Strawberry Kale Salad



Strawberry Kale Salad


Yield: 2 to 4 servings



1 small shallot, peeled and diced small

1 ½ tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling


In a medium container with a tight fitting lid or medium bowl, combine the shallot and vinegars. Let sit for 5 minutes. Add the olive oil, close the lid tightly, and shake well to combine, or, whisk to combine the ingredients if using a bowl.



1 bunch curly kale, stems discarded, leaves stacked, rolled and sliced finely (chiffonade)

½ cup sliced almonds

¼ cup roughly chopped pitted deglet noor dates

8 ounces strawberries, hulled and sliced thinly

2 ounces ricotta salata cheese, crumbled

kosher salt, to taste

freshly ground black pepper, to taste


In a large bowl, mix the kale, almonds and dates. Add the vinaigrette and mix to combine. Add the strawberries and cheese. Fold gently to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide into bowls and serve with a drizzle of olive oil.