Saturday, September 24, 2011
Spanish for "little tomatoes", tomatillos look like green tomatoes, but they're not. These fruits- originally cultivated by the Aztecs - are a type of berry from the nightshade family, along with eggplant, potatoes, and tomatoes.
With a sweet-tart herbaceous flavor of apple and lemon, tomatillos are made into salsa verde and served with pork or chicken entrees. Like their tomato cousins, they can be eaten raw, added to salads, sauteed, grilled, roasted, or stewed. Cooking brings out the sweetness of the fruit and softens the thick skin hidden under it's delicate paper-like husk.
Purchase tomatillos with tight-fitting husks covering firm, blemish-free flesh. Shriveled husks are a sure sign that the tomatillos have passed their prime. Remove the husks and wash the flesh to get rid of the sticky film left by their husks.
Tomatillos are available nearly year-round, but peak season is May to October. they have a longer shelf life than most produce. Store them in the fridge , husks on, in a paper bag for up to 2 weeks, or without their husks for up to a month. Quick freeze whole or sliced tomatillos on a parchment lined baking sheet, then transfer them to a resealable plastic bag and freeze for up to six months.