OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHooray for tomatillos! Tomatillos are in the nightshade family (like tomatoes and potatoes), the fruit grows within a papery husk. A tomatillo plant full of fruit looks like it is decorated with little paper lanterns. Raw tomatillos have a fresh, tangy, citrus like flavor. When roasted, they take on a more earthy, nutty flavor. They are a staple in Mexican cooking. Buen provecho!

A few ideas for how to enjoy tomatillos: roasted tomatillo salsa (salsa verde), with chips, on scrambled eggs or sauteed greens; enchiladas; tomatillo tortilla soup; in guacamole; or sliced fresh on a sandwich. Here is a link to a mighty good looking recipe for Enchiladas Suizas.

Salsa verde

  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 lb husked tomatillos, cut into halves
  • 1 fresh jalapeño, seeded

Put all ingredients into a food processor and mix until well blended. Optional step: roast tomatillos, garlic and onion before blending into salsa.

Tomatillo Margaritas, makes 4 cocktails

Simple Syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup cold water

Bring the water and sugar to a boil until sugar dissolves. Let cool completely.

2 tbsp coarse salt
zest from 2 limes (use the limes you’re going to juice)

Stir the lime zest and salt together.

simple syrup
2 small tomatillos
4 limes
4 oz white tequila
crushed ice

Puree the tomatillos and push through a fine-mesh sieve to separate the pulp and the juice. Juice the limes into the juice of the tomatillos.

In a large pitcher, stir the lime/tomatillo juice, the simple syrup (add half at a time and taste to make sure it’s not too sweet) and tequila. Taste and add more lime or simple syrup. Stir well and chill for at least an hour.

Use a wedge of lime to moisten the rim of your glass and dip into the rim mixture. Fill glasses with crushed ice and pour margarita over.

Storage tips: Tomatillos are surprisingly long lasting; they can be stored in the fridge for up to a month, or even kept out on the counter.  Do not store them in an air-tight container; they need to breathe.  Keep the husks in tact and do not remove them until you’re ready to use the fruits.


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