What in the world are tomatillos?? They look like firm green tomatoes wrapped in a papery husk, but they have a unique taste all their own. I haven’t discovered very many things to do with them yet, but I HAVE discovered that they are so ridiculously easy to grow!! In fact, if some rogue tomatillos fall into your garden bed and either decompose there, or some get mixed into your compost, the odds are that you’ll get some volunteers the next year that will produce just as nicely as the original plant. I had two big plants pop up in my cucumber boxes this year. You can stake them or use a cage like a tomato but they’ll pretty much just grow by themselves.
My favorite thing to do with tomatillos thus far is to make salsa! Just this year I’ve experimented with oven roasting them, and I have to say, it’s amazing. And easy! Here’s my recipe for oven roasted tomatillo and tomato salsa.
Take as many tomatillos as you have (about a pound for full tomatillo salsa, less if it’s mixed with tomatoes), a couple cloves of garlic, an onion, and some peppers. The amount of peppers depends on how hot you like it. I used a jalapeno and a hungarian hot wax, both with the seeds removed, and it’s pretty warm. Peel and rinse the tomatillos (they are kind of sticky) and cut them in half. Cut and seed the peppers, and peel and cut the onion. Leave the skin on the garlic for roasting. Put on a dry baking sheet and broil on high for about 5-7 minutes until you get a little blackening on your veg.
Mix all the roasted ingredients (peel the garlic now!) and use your favorite food chopping device to whiz them up. Add juice of half a lime, and a half bunch of cilantro, and as many tomatoes as you like to fill out your salsa. Eat!! I like it warm, but the flavors really get a chance to meld when you cool it for a while.
We’re using it on taco salad tonight, but a quick and easy recipe is to take a batch of salsa (I’ve only done this with full tomatillo versions of salsa) and mix in a can of cream of mushroom soup. Layer corn tortillas, meat of choice, cheese, and the sauce to make a tasty batch of enchiladas!