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When I'm in need of salsa inspiration, Rick Bayless has yet to steer me wrong. I'm a huge fan of tomatillo salsa, so when I came across his recipe that added sweet and fruity orange into the mix, I had to give it a try.
I did end up doctoring up the recipe a bit, which was a pretty thick salsa that, from its original context, looks like it was made to be a guacamole topper or mix-in. I upped the tomatillo count, letting a combo of roasted and fresh tomatillos create a saucier base, and scaled the onion back just little. To the orange and chipotles already in the recipe, I added cilantro and lime juice to give a brighter, fresher flavor overall.
With that, I was in love with it. Orange and chipotle is a natural pairing—the sweet citrus tang plays well off of the smoky and spicy chipotle. The tart and fruity tomatillos mingled well with this combo quite nicely and heightened the complexity seemingly beyond the short list of ingredients. If you're looking for some salsa salvation from the tomato-based norm this Cinco de Mayo, this orange-tomatillo salsa will certainly serve you well.
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