Are you looking to add a zesty flavor to your dishes? Look no further than the tomatillo! With its tangy, citrus-like taste and versatility in various cuisines, cooking with tomatillos is an excellent way to liven up any dish. Not only are they packed with nutritional benefits, but also they’re relatively easy to prepare. In this blog post, we’ll provide step by step instructions on how to select, store and how to cook with tomatillos so that you can take full advantage of their delicious flavor and numerous health benefits at home.
What is the tomatillo?
The tomatillo, otherwise known as the Mexican husk tomato, is a small green fruit that’s related to the common tomato. Unlike its cousin, this tart-tasting vegetable has a papery husk around it that needs to be peeled away before use. Tomatillos are most commonly used in salsa verde and other Southwestern dishes, but they can also be used in salads, chilis, and sauces.
Where do Tomatillos come from?
Tomatillos are native to Mexico and Central America. They’re widely available throughout the United States, typically found in Latin grocery stores, supermarkets and farmers markets during the summer months.
Why are Tomatillos used in cooking?
Tomatillos add a tart and tangy flavor to dishes while also providing a boost of vitamins, minerals and fiber. On top of that, they contain fewer calories than similar vegetables like tomatoes or peppers. This makes them an ideal ingredient in any dish where a hint of citrus-like taste is desired.
The health benefits of incorporating tomatillos your dish
Tomatillos are an excellent source of essential vitamins and minerals. They contain vitamin C, folate, vitamin A and dietary fiber. Additionally, they’re high in antioxidants that can help to fight off free radicals and protect your cells from damage.
How to select the right tomatillos for cooking?
When selecting tomatillos, look for those that are firm and bright green in color. Avoid any with spots or bruises, as these will affect the flavor of your dish. Additionally, check to make sure the husks are still intact and undamaged as this will help keep them fresher for longer.
Various recipes with tomatillos
Tomatillos can be used in a variety of recipes. From salsas and sauces to salads, soups and tacos, the possibilities are endless! Here are some popular recipes that you can make with tomatillos:
- Tomatillo Salsa Verde
- Grilled Tomatillo Salad
- Chicken Tacos with Tomatillo Sauce
- Creamy Tomatillo Soup
- Grilled Fish with Tomatillo Avocado Salsa.
Ingredients to cook with tomatillos
Tomatillos are particularly striking when combined with other flavors like garlic, onions, lime juice and chili peppers. You can also add cheese, dairy products or other vegetables to enhance the flavor of your dish.
How to cook with tomatillos?
That how to cook with tomatillos is relatively straightforward. Before cooking, be sure to remove the husk and rinse them to get rid of any dirt or debris. Then, you can roast them, grill them, boil them or even use a slow cooker. Alternatively, you can also blend tomatillos into salsas and sauces for an extra zesty flavor.
Creative ways to incorporate tomatillos into everyday meals
Tomatillos are incredibly versatile, so you can get creative with how you incorporate them into your meals. Here are some ideas for using tomatillos in everyday recipes:
- Add diced tomatillos to omelets and scrambles for a zesty flavor boost.
- Use tomatillo puree as the base of a creamy pasta sauce.
- Make a tomatillo salsa to top off grilled chicken or fish.
- Add diced tomatillos to salads for an extra crunch and tartness.
- Make a tomatillo guacamole as an alternative to traditional guacamole.
- Top tacos with fresh tomatillo slices and cilantro for added flavor.
- Use tomatillo salsa as a dipping sauce for chips, crackers and vegetables.
Tips for making the most out of your tomatillo dishes
When cooking with tomatillos, it’s important to keep a few things in mind. Here are some tips for making the most out of your dishes:
- Tomatillos become more tart as they ripen, so be sure to adjust the amount of other ingredients accordingly.
- When adding tomatillos to sauces or salsas, be sure to cook them until soft to get the best flavor.
- Roasting tomatillos brings out their sweetness and depth of flavor, so try roasting them before adding them to your dish.
- Tomatillos can take on a metallic taste when cooked in aluminum or iron pots, so it’s best to use stainless steel or enamel pots when cooking with them.
- Don’t hesitate to experiment and get creative with your recipes! Try adding different seasonings, herbs or vegetables to make the most out of your tomatillo dishes.
How to store the tomatillos?
Tomatillos should be stored in the refrigerator and should last up to two weeks. They can also be frozen for up to six months, although they may lose some of their flavor. When freezing tomatillos, be sure to blanch them first before storing in an airtight container or freezer-safe bag.
Conclusion: How to cook with tomatillos
We hope this blog post has given you a better understanding of how to select, store and how to cook with tomatillos. With their tart-like flavor and numerous health benefits, incorporating them into your daily meals is an easy way to switch up the flavors in your cooking. So why not give it a try? Get creative with your recipes and have fun trying out new dishes with tomatillos.
FAQ: cooking tomatillos
Are tomatillos supposed to be cooked?
Fresh tomatillos offer a distinctive flavor that is tangy, vibrant, and reminiscent of citrus. While they are commonly cooked, they can also be enjoyed in their raw state.
Is it better to roast or boil tomatillos?
Discover the optimal method for tomatillos: roasting or boiling. Recent testing yields compelling evidence pointing towards roasting as the superior choice. Roasting enhances flavor extraction, resulting in remarkably tastier salsas and sauces.
Do you peel tomatillos before boiling?
Before cooking with tomatillos, it is necessary to remove their papery husks. Simply peel the husks off and rinse the tomatillos in warm water to eliminate any sticky residue or stubborn bits.
Do you peel tomatillos after roasting?
Should you peel roasted tomatillos? While it is possible to peel the skins off after cooking, leaving them on can enhance the flavor of your sauces, salsas, and other recipes with a delicious smoky taste.
Can you cook tomatillos like tomatoes?
Discover the versatility of tomatillos: cooking them just like tomatoes! Not only are tomatillos small, green, and spherical fruits resembling tomatoes, but they also possess a unique flavor. In fact, tomatillo literally translates to “little tomato” in Spanish. Originating in Mexico, these disease-resistant plants belong to the nightshade family. Explore the delicious possibilities of tomatillos – they can be enjoyed both raw and cooked.
Is it better to roast or boil tomatillos?
Choosing between roasting or boiling tomatillos? After conducting thorough research, the evidence is clear: roasting reigns supreme. Unlock a burst of flavor in your salsas and sauces with this foolproof technique.
What happens when you overcook tomatillos?
Discover the surprising consequences of overcooking tomatillos. Avoid the soapy taste in your salsa by ensuring the tomatillo is thoroughly rinsed and cooked properly. Transform your green sauce into a flavorful delight by charring the tomatillos to create a refreshing lemony and subtly sweet salsa.
Are tomatillos just unripe tomatoes?
No, they are not! Despite their name, tomatillos are not small green tomatoes. While these two plants share a distant relationship, they are distinct entities that should not be substituted for one another.
How do you know when a tomatillo is ripe?
Tomatillos, those delightful tangy fruits, reach their blissful state of ripeness between 75 to 100 days after transplanting. Their readiness for harvest becomes apparent when they fully occupy the protective husk and readily detach from the plant upon picking. Moreover, keep an eye out for the husk’s transformation from vibrant green to a warm tan hue, accompanied by a gentle splitting open.
Do you remove skin from tomatillos after roasting?
Should you peel the skin off tomatillos after roasting? While it is optional, leaving the charred skins on can enhance the flavor of sauces, salsas, and other recipes with a delicious smoky taste.
Dana Packard is the Chef at Irish Setter Pub. Dana brings over 15 years of culinary experience to her position, and has worked in some of the most prestigious kitchens in the country. She is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, and is an accomplished chef with a passion for creating delicious, innovative dishes.
When she’s not in the kitchen, Dana enjoys spending time with her husband and two young children. She also loves animals, and has two dogs and a cat that she adores.