All About Tomatillos, and Making a Mean Green Salsa


Tomatillos are often overlooked. These wonderful, green “Mexican tomatoes” are very easy to make into a versatile sauce. Use tomatillo sauce to enhance guacamole, or serve on steaks, rice, grilled plantains, tacos, omelets or scrambled eggs.

Tomatillos are in season now, so it’s green salsa time! When selecting tomatillos, look at the husks to make sure that they’re fresh. The husks should be firmly attached and green to light brown in color – fresh looking, not dried or shriveled. The fruit should be green, shiny and firm.

Making sauce with tomatillos is ludicrously simple using the boiling method. Remove the husks and wash the fruit. Slice into quarters, and place in a saucepan with a small amount of water for steaming – they do not need to be fully submerged in water. Cover and steam for five to seven minutes or until softened and breaking apart. Use an immersion blender to puree until smooth (optional). Season with salt and pepper, and serve!

To add complexity to the sauce, use chicken or vegetable stock instead of water. To spice up the flavoring, add minced jalapenos and garlic, sautéed onions or cilantro and lime juice. Try this version from Epicurious.

Boiling the tomatillos is easiest, but roasting them adds a depth of flavor. Here’s a great looking, quick recipe from the Burp! Recipe Collection.

If you’re grilling, this Secrets of Salsa: Five Green Salsa with Garlic and Lime Recipe looks amazing.

By the way, you can store tomatillos in the refrigerator for about two weeks in a brown bag or remove the husks and place them in sealed plastic bags to last a little longer. Better yet, cook them immediately!

Please share other tomatillo tips and recipes if you have them!

Image: La Grande Farmers’ Markets