All About Tomatillos
Ideas for Tomatillos


All About Tomatillos

Picking tomatillos: Tomatillo plants produce a papery shell, and the tomatillo fruit grows to fill this shell. Pick tomatillos when they are bright green and firm and when the husk is tan and papery and is just bursting. The fully ripened fruit turns yellow or purple, but apparently by that stage they have much less flavor.
 
Storing tomatillos: Tomatillos can be stored in their husks for 2 to 3 weeks in a paper bag in the refrigerator. Tomatillos can also be frozen. To freeze them, peel the husk, rinse and dry the fruit. Place them in one layer on a baking tray (optionally lined with parchment paper) until frozen. Then place the frozen tomatillos in freezer bags.  
 
Using tomatillos: Most recipes for tomatillos are for sauces or stews, since they get mushy when cooked. They can also be chopped and used in salads.
 
Sources:
http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/vegetables/tomatillo/harvesting-tomatillo-fruits.htm
http://bonnieplants.com/growing/growing-tomatillos/
 

- Compiled by Jackie Starr


Ideas for Tomatillos

Tomatillos can be eaten raw, such as in tomatillo and watermelon salad.
 
When cooked, they turn quickly to mush, so recipes involving cooked tomatillos are generally for sauces, stews and soups.
 
The most typical use is for tomatillo salsas, such as raw tomatillo salsa, roasted tomatillo salsa or one made on the stovetop.
 
Variations involve using the sauce or salsa as part of another recipe, such as for chicken or green chile enchiladas made with cheese and Anaheim pepper. It's possible the latter could be made vegan with cashew cheese or almonds.  You can also use the sauce to make chilaquiles. This recipe can be made vegetarian by using black beans for the chicken.  Try baking shrimp or fish in a cooked tomatillo salsa.
 
Soups and stews incorporating tomatillos often use pozole (hominy), like this or this. A recipe for pork stew from Ruth Reichl sounds like a relatively simple way to develop complex flavors. There are vegetarian versions of chili verde or soups, such as this one with white beans. Martha Stewart's chilled buttermilk tomatillo soup sounds delicious. Buttermilk can be made from soy or almond milk by adding lemon juice or cider vinegar.  Use some of Dennis Busa's sweet corn to make a pot of green corn soup.  For an even more intense corn flavor, use corn stock.
 
Here are other tomatillo recipe round-ups from Epicurious, Huffington Post, Martha Stewart, the readers of thekitchn, and Mariquita Farm. All include many salsa recipes. The roundup from Mariquita Farm also suggests how to use tomatillos in a curry and provides instructions for how to prepare tomatillos raw, by blanching, by fire roasting, or by dry roasting.
 

- Compiled by Jackie Starr and Betsy Pollack