WHAT ARE TOMATILLOS? A tomatillo may well look like a "green tomato" (that is, an immature, unripe tomato) and is some times even called a green tomato. But a tomatillo is not a tomato at all, despite its outer appearance! First, a tomatillo is smaller than a tomato, ranging from the size of a golf ball to a baseball. Second, a tomatillo stays green, where an immature green tomato will eventually ripen and turn red.
HOW TO PRONOUNCE TOMATILLO? The word is pronounced [toe-muh-TEE-yo]. The plural of tomatillo is tomatillos [toe-muh-TEE-yoz].
OTHER NAMES FOR TOMATILLOS A tomatillo is also called a husk tomato, jamberry, husk cherry, or Mexican tomato.
TOMATILLOS & MEXICAN CUISINE Tomatillos are a staple in Mexican cuisine, especially in green sauces. If you've eaten "salsa verde" on enchiladas then chances are, you've eaten tomatillos; if you've tucked into a "green chili burger" with gusto then chances are, you've eaten tomatillos. With so many Mexican-Americans in the U.S., I suspect that most supermarkets carry tomatillos but if no luck, find a Mexican grocery, you'll be sure to find tomatillos.
THE TOMATILLO SEASON For the record, we grow tomatillos in Eastern Missouri, that's Zone 6 and
STORING & CLEANING TOMATILLOS We leave the husks on the tomatillos until we're ready to eat them. No special care is required, tomatillos keep on the counter for a few days or in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks. First remove the husk, it's inedible. The tomatillo inside is quite sticky, wash it as soon as the husk has been removed, then wash your hands too because that sticky residue makes your fingers dry up like prunes! Once the husk is removed, the entire tomatillo is edible, including the skins and the tiny seeds inside. Grocery stores often remove the husks and wash the tomatillos, saving a couple of steps!
WHAT DO TOMATILLOS TASTE LIKE? We like tomatillos both raw and cooked. A raw tomatillo has a wet but not juicy texture, softer than an apple, firmer than a tomato. The taste can be slightly sweet – which is fascinating because cooked tomatillos add a lovely "sourness" to a dish. Some people say the taste of a tomatillo hints of lemon or pineapple.
TOMATILLOS & YOU I've listed some favorite recipes for tomatillos below but am really curious, what do you most like to do with tomatillos? What do you think about it? Is it easy to find? Do you grow it? Share your story! Bloggers, feel free to share links to your own tomatillo recipes.
~ Microwave Green Beans with Tomatillo Salsa Dressing ~
~ Homemade Guacamole with Tomatillos ~
~ Turkey on Pita with Tomatillo Sauce ~
~ more tomatillo recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture
~ Fall Stew Baked in a Whole Pumpkin ~
~ Green Chili Sauce (Salsa Verde) ~
~ more tomatillo recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column
famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.
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