Tomatillos, indigenous to Mexico, are also known as husk tomatoes or tomato verde. Tomatillos are nightshades related to the Cape gooseberry. They have a tart lemony flavor that is key to making salsa verde, as well as enhancing soups, stews and guacamole.
How to cook with tomatillos
First of all look for the smaller cherry tomato-sized tomatillos whenever you can. They are sweeter than the larger golf-ball size tomatillos. Store tomatillos in their husks at room temperature for a few days and about a week in the fridge. Before cooking remove their paper-like husk and wash the fruit. When the husk is removed the underlying tomatillo will be sticky.
Roasting tomatillos brings out their flavor. Use a hot fire such as an outdoor grill or broiler. Blacken the skin on all sides. The tomatillo starts out a vibrant lime green and as it cooks, turns a darker army green. There is no need to peel charred tomatillos. Just cut out the hard core and chop. If using a broiler to char the tomatillos, reserve any residual liquid for your recipe, as this liquid is very flavorful stuff.
Tomatillo nutrition and health benefits
Tomatillos are very low calorie and low fat. They are high in vitamin C, mineral dense and have anti-bacterial and anti-oxident properties that protect against cancer and support vision.
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Substituting canned tomatillos for fresh
You can substitute 1 11-ounce can of tomatillos for 1 pound fresh tomatillos. Looking for a tomatillo recipe? Try my Chicken, chile and tomatillo soup.