[Market-farming] salsa with tomatillos

Pat Meadows pat at meadows.pair.com
Tue Sep 19 15:16:47 EDT 2006

PS (see my prior message): 

I forgot to say you can slice them and add the slices to a salad.

By the way, here's a nice picture of them, and some useful info.  If you
are going to print any recipes up, maybe you'd like to print that photo (if
you have a color printer):




    * cooking tips

Tomatillo (pronounced toe-mah-tee-yo), a primary ingredient in Latin
American green sauce (salsa verde), means "little tomato" in Spanish — but
these beauties pack a lot of flavor into their small containers. With a
distinctly tart, almost lemony flavor, tomatillos enhance a broad range of
dishes, from guacamole and appetizers to stews and steaks.

The fruit of the tomatillo grows within a soft, parchment-like husk that is
sometimes forced open as it approaches mature size, usually between 1" to
2" in diameter. Tomatillos are almost always harvested and used while still
green. A yellowish or sometimes purplish blush on the fruit itself — the
husk can be pale green to light brown — indicates a ripeness that makes
them less desirable for common uses.

Tomatillos are sometimes used to flavor rice and tenderize meat. By far the
most common role is as a base for salsa verde, usually combined with
onions, cilantro, garlic, lime juice and chili peppers. Pork dishes in
particular are well complemented by salsa verde.
What to Look For

Tomatillos are generally available in produce departments year round,
though spring to early summer is the season of greatest abundance. Look for
husks that are fresh-looking, dry but soft to the touch; pale-colored,
green to brown; and tightly filled with fruit. Some husks may have been
forced open, an indication of robust growth, not quality. The fruit itself
should be light green and firm without blemishes. A yellow or purple blush
indicates over-maturity for most uses though some cooks prefer the sweeter
flavor of fully ripe fruit.

Some supermarkets and specialty grocers stock canned tomatillos, a
convenience for busy cooks.


If you're not going to use them immediately, keep the husks on and store in
a paper bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator for up to three weeks
— do not keep in an airtight container.

Tomatillos freeze well. Simply remove the husks and place in a suitable
container for freezing. When needed, take out the desired amount and thaw
at room temperature.


In the Appalachian Mountains in northern Pennsylvania
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