Tomatillos are a new vegetable for me. On a whim we decided to grow them this year and how happy I am that we did! Even my hubby is excited about both how they grow (in a papery husk) and what we can make with them. Below is a little info graphic about them along with a few recipes I have tried.
What: Tomatillos are sometimes called “tomate verde” or green tomato because they look like little green tomatoes. However they grow in a cool looking papery husk. They are part of the nightshade family like tomatoes and peppers and they are related to the cape gooseberry. Salsa verde is of course the most popular use for tomatillos and was the first recipe I tried which great results. See recipe below. However there are many other uses for them and I hope I have enough tomatillos to try them all!
How: It’s important plant at least 2 plants so the blooms can be pollinated to produce the fruit. You can yield about a pound of tomatillos per plant which is what the salsa verde recipe calls for so it’s good to grow a few plants so that you can get enough fruit off the plant at one time to make a recipe.
When: We were nervous about when to harvest the tomatillos since they are housed in those cool husks. But you can tell when to cut them from the plant when the fruit has filled out the husk or when the husk starts to split. The fruit will be green at this point but if you leave in on the plant longer it will turn a creamy yellow or purple color when it’s fully ripe. When ripe they have a mild almost pear flavor however when they are green they are a bit tangy which is what you want. Most recipes for tomatillos are for the green fruit not the ripe fruit.
Why: You can store your fresh picked tomatillos in the husk, in the vegetable bin of your fridge for 2-3 weeks. They are ver low in calories and fat and are a good source of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, niacin, potassium, and manganese.
So if you didn’t grow any tomatillos this year, consider them for next. Or pick up a few at the next farmer’s market or your grocery store. Adding new foods to your diet (especially healthy ones) will add more nutrients (possibly ones you don’t currently have) to your diet and make you healthier. It also makes you feel like an adventurous person. So try some tomatillos…..I’m glad I did.
Where: Check out my other tomatillo recipes such as Chicken Chickpea Chili which uses the salsa recipe below, chickpeas and chicken for a quick delicious meal. Also check out my Quick & Easy Chicken Enchilada Soup.
Fr more information about tomatillos check out these websites.
http://bonnieplants.com/growing/growing-tomatillos/ (for growing information)
http://whatscookingamerica.net/tomatillos.htm (for cooking information)
http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/3020/2 (for nutritional information)
Salsa Verde (using tomatillos)
- 1 lb tomatillos with husks off
- ½ large onion chopped
- 2 small jalapeños chopped
- 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
- 2 tablespoons cilantro chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups of water
Place all ingredients in a pot and simmer for about 10 minutes until the tomatillos are tender.
Let cool and then place in a blender or food processor.
Cook in batches if you need.
Process til desired consistency.
Refrigerate when finished.
Eat with chips or use in other recipes such as my Cuban Pot Roast.