The tomatillo aka. the Mexican husk tomato is a strange thing to me. It’s kind of like a tomato but then not quite and it comes kind of naturally pre-wrapped with leaves neatly enclosed around it.
We picked some green tomatillos up in the market a couple of weeks ago and then they sat there on the table, watching me as I watched them, and wondered what to actually do with them. Time passed until I decided that it didn’t make a lot of sense to just leave them there to go bad and so I decided to have a bit of a search and a bit of an experiment.
Before we get to that though, a couple of notes:
Tomatillos come in different shades, as well as green you can find purple and yellow varieties, the purple ones seem to be generally smaller and are apparently sweeter. I haven’t tried them yet but plan to very soon.
The papery leaves on the outside are not edible! I was tempted to try but thought better of it. Peel them off of the fruit and give it a rinse before you do anything else with it.
They taste strangely citrusy, sometimes quite strongly. This is not a bad thing, it’s just a bit of a surprise if you are expecting something to taste like a tomato!
Oh, and the tomatillo looks like it must be a healthy little thing and indeed it is. They are high in beta-carotene, are a good source of niacin and have a positive potassium-sodium ratio which helps to reduce blood pressure. Apparently purple varieties also contain a lot of anthocyanins which contain cancer-fighting compounds.
So, back to my culinary research on what to do with them, and the result was this…
Tomatillo and avocado green salsa recipe
Maybe it doesn’t sound super exciting, exotic or challenging, but making salsa seems to be a very common way to use tomatillos and there are very few things that aren’t made better by adding a bit of avocado. This salsa is great, I’ve made it a couple of times already and we use it up really quickly.
- ½ medium avocado
- 1 romaine lettuce leaf
- 1 serrano chili
- 1/2 medium white onion
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 4-5 tomatillos
- A handful of coriander (leaves and soft stems)
- Sea salt
This is literally a 5 minute recipe, all you have to do is:
Peel the garlic, roughly tear the lettuce, chop the onion into a couple of pieces, finely chop the chili and cut the tomatillos into quarters, removing any hard husk bits in the centre.
Throw everything you just chopped and tore, together with the flesh of the avocado into a blender and blitz it until it is smooth, then season with a little salt to taste.
Serve it with, well with anything really. Tacos would be a good place to start but you can also add it to most other things, today I decided to warm it up use it as a sauce for pasta!