Hand drawn image of Tomatillo

Tomatillo

Physalis philadelphica

One of our quirkier crops, they originally hail from Mexico, where they’re used in almost everything. They have a tangy, citrus sweetness. Grill, barbecue, roast, use in stews or try them in a salsa verde.

Image of Tomatillo being produced

In the kitchen

Storage

Store in the salad drawer of your fridge, with their papery husks intact, and use within a week. Don’t wait for them to turn red; tomatillos are ready when they’re firm and green.

Prep & Cooking tips

Remove the papery lantern-like husks and give the tomatillos a wash. You can slice and dice just like a tomato.

They are most often used raw and chopped or blended into a fresh citrus and chilli laced salsa. Because they contain so much pectin, a finely chopped salsa may appear to thicken and solidify if left for a while, just give it a stir to revive it.

They can be roasted whole or cooked into sauces, like their cousin the tomato, but they take less time to cook down. Give them a stir halfway through so that they cooked evenly. They’ll lose their bright green colour and soften considerably in the heat.

Easy ideas

1. Raw

Most commonly used in a salsa, chopped or blended with some coriander, green chilli, red onion, lime and salt. Slice raw and fold into tortillas, burritos or tacos. Dice with some ripe avocado and jalapenos as an offbeat bruschetta topping.

2. Cooked

They will cook down and collapse rapidly while still retaining a sense of freshness. Add them to a fiery chicken, pork or fish stew for the last 30 mins or so. Try roasting them whole in a hot oven for 15-20 with a little oil and salt until blistered, yielding and starting to lose their shape.

3. Green Mary

A South American permutation of this punchy pick-me-up. Blend 5 tomatillos with 1 mini cucumber, a small handful of coriander and half a green chilli. Pass through a fine sieve to remove any pips and chill well. Mix with a few shots of vodka, or more appropriately tequila, and tweak with lime juice and a scant pinch of salt. Don’t fancy a second drink? Add a celery stick, green pepper and a green apple to the initial blend, hold the booze and thin with a little water before seasoning. Serve it in a bowl and call it a Mexican gazpacho, garnish with diced avocado.

Goes well with

Avocado
Chilli
Coriander
Cucumber
Lime
Tomatoes

Tomatillo recipes

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Seasonality

jan
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