KALOKO SALSA aka Avocado Tomatillo Salsa
Wednesday, May 04, 2016
A creamy green, fresh and fiery salsa that begs to be dipped, slathered, scooped and swooped.
Did you know that over 200 varieties of avocados grow in the Hawaiian Islands? And that the Kona area, especially in and around Kona Coffee Country, is historically the premier growing area of avocados for all of Hawaii.
Back in the earlier days of avocado cultivation on the Big Island, Japanese Kona Coffee farmers quickly discovered how this delectable new crop flourished in Hawaii's fertile, volcanic soil and endless sunshine. The rest is history.
Nowadays Hawaii roadside stands and Farmers Markets offer harvests of this irresistible green fruit, with names directly reflective of those proud Kona Coffee and avocado farmers, like Ohata, Yamagata and Nishikawa.
Buttery, round, oval, huge, tiny, smooth, bumpy, light green, dark green, tangy, creamy, you name it, Hawaii's got it. Cool, huh?
And.....Did you know that when you dig into a bowl of guac or salsa, made from a just-picked, sun-warmed Big Island avocado with a generous squeezing of just-picked, sun-warmed Big Island lime or lemon juice that your eyes close and small soft sounds of divine, delicious pleasure emit from your kisser?
It's true. I am living, smiling, avocado aficionado, proof.
Which brings me to yesterday when I threw together this family fave salsa that I started making years ago, when we had the amazing good fortune to call the beguiling Big Island, home. My mind wanders effortlessly back to those days when we lived up Kaloko mauka, on the verdant slopes of Mt. Hualalai, about 10 minutes or so from Kailua-Kona village, in a house plunked in the middle of a young avocado orchard, overlooking the famed Kona Coast.
I kept a cooking/foodie kine journal, of sorts, in those days. Here is an old entry from that very journal:
"Dear Journal - I went out into the yard of our place up Kaloko yesterday to pick avocados for the first time. The wild turkeys gobble-gobbled and kept a watchful eye as I giddily trespassed on their grazing grounds looking for ripe avos. I was on a brand new, earthly high as my rubbah slippahs clucked across the meadow. With the sun-heated roughness of the avocado skins pressed against me, I thanked the 'aina (earth) for these glorious, buttery, green gems. Smiling, I went into the kitchen and did the bounty of my garden justice, making a rather sultry salsa"
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1 ripe, just soft, medium to large-ish avocado, cut into chunks
1 small can (7-ounce) tomatillo salsa (most grocery stores carry La Costena brand 'Green Mexican Sauce')
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
Put all ingredients in bowl of food processor and buzz, buzz, buzz, until mostly smooth. Serve immediately, or let laze, in the fridge for 1-2 hours for flavours to mingle and mellow. Serve with fresh cut tortilla chips, nachos, tacos or your favourite dippers. Will keep 3 days in refrigerator, but it won't last that long!