Oh, school. Its arrival is so bittersweet. Even though I liked school as a kid, I was never quite ready for summer to end–who is? And now that it’s my own kids heading happily back to class, a part of me is sorry to see them go. (Another part of me is looking forward to a few mornings a week alone with my baby, of course, and to the single hour of silence in my day at her naptime.)
So yesterday we celebrated the Last Day of Summer Vacation with swimming, ice cream cones dripping onto the sidewalk, and an afternoon in the park. Today dawned all business instead: breakfast, brushed hair, a stocked backpack, and then a bike ride to school to deliver our oldest to the rigors of first grade. (It looked pretty fun, actually.)
And by the end of the day we were all exhausted. Quesadillas, rice, beans from a can. And this salsa. This salsa! It brightened everything right up. Bring home a pound of tomatillos and a lime next time you’re out, and in five minutes you’ll be cheered right up. Have the energy to go beyond quesadillas? I love tomatillo salsa on black bean tacos, taco salads, huevos rancheros, and chilaquiles. Especially chilaquiles. Maybe it’s a good thing that the seasons are changing after all. Fresh Tomatillo Salsa: Remove the husks from a pound of tomatillos, lightly scrub them to wash off the waxy coating, and quarter them. Remove the seeds from a spicy green pepper (a serrano or jalapeno, say, or the one I got in my CSA box) and chop it coarsely; start with half if it’s quite spicy and consider adding the seeds if it’s not very spicy at all. Slice up 2 biggish cloves of garlic. Transfer tomatillos, peppers, and garlic to a food processor along with 3 Tbsp. lime juice and 1 tsp. salt. Pulse a few times, scrape down the sides, then puree until nearly smooth, leaving just a little texture. Taste and adjust the flavors with more lime juice (I used 4 Tbsp. total, but I suggest starting with 3 because your tomatillos may be more tart than mine), more salt, or more spicy pepper.