5.22.2011

The Tomatillo

photo:  TAGilephotos@gmail.com
The “What is this?” pick of the week is the tomatillo! Tomatillos and the myriad of pepper varieties are filling markets all across the continent and offering us some delectable choices. 

Origin: 3000 years ago the Aztecs domesticated the tomatillo.    The tomatillo is native to Central and South America and in the US are grown primarily in the southwest.   What is a surprise is that the tomatillo is related to the gooseberry, NOT the tomato!


Nutritional Information: Excellent source of potassium, vitamins A & C and lutein.  
Nutritional Data on the Tomatillo

Selection:  Make sure they are firm (not soft like a tomato) and that they are a bright green color.  (As a tomatillo ages, it pales in color and the husk dries).  Husks should be bright green as well, sticky and encasing the fruit as much as possible.   The tomatillo should fill the husk.  Make sure to open the husk to check the quality of the tomatillo inside.   Tomatillos can be stored with husks on in a paper bag in the fridge or on the counter for about 2 weeks.  With removal of the husks, keep in a sealed plastic bag in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. 

Preparation:  Keep the tomatillo in the husk until it is ready to be used.  Soak the fruit in warm water for better removal of the husk and to clean off the tacky residue.   No need to peel or seed.  

Tomatillos bring a nice tartness and add acidity to a dish. 

Check out this link for more information on growing, selection and care of tomatillos: