Oh tomatillos … are they fruits? Vegetables? Tomatoes? Something else? When I tried them for the first time a few years ago, I was totally filled with a bazillion questions. The papery husk, and slightly sticky skin, had me all sorts of confused. But I read up on them and figured out how to use them to make delicious dishes. For the record, they are a fruit that is part of the nightshade family — and a relative of the tomato, eggplant and gooseberry. They are popularly used in Mexican cooking.
Earlier this summer, I decided to try growing tomatillos in my garden. With just one plant, I figured we would get a few tomatillos .. enough to make a recipe or two. But not the plant is now huge. It’s branches have extended far and wide, bearing so many little husks for tomatillos that it’s almost unbelievable. Once they are all fully grown, it will be quite the harvest.
If you aren’t growing tomatillos though, you can also purchase them at grocery stores and farmers’ markets all over. The tart taste is fabulous in sauces and other dishes.
My favorite way to use them? In salsa. This easy, fast, raw salsa is a cinch to make and it pairs well with everything from tortilla chips to tacos to cheddar omelets. Tomatoes, tomatilloes, garlic, a shallot, a jalapeno pepper and lime juice are whirled together in a food processor with salt and pepper to make a delicious fresh salsa. And since it’s pretty mild, the kids love it too …
Of course, you could switch out the jalapeno for a hotter pepper and make it hot too. Just sayin’.
Also try my Tomatillo Guacamole recipe!
Do you have a favorite tomatillo recipe? Share a link! I am looking for more great uses for these delicious fruits.
Easy Tomato Tomatillo Salsa
6 tomatillos, husks removed and washed
3 plum tomatoes, washed
1 shallot, peeled
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 jalapeno, sliced
1/2 lime, juiced (about 2-3 tbsp)
sea salt and pepper, to taste
Quarter the tomatillos, tomatoes and shallow and add to the bowl of a food processor. Add the garlic, lime juice, sea salt and pepper.
Pulse to desired consistency.
Transfer the salsa to an airtight container and chill until ready to serve.