Have You Tried Cooking with Fresh Tomatillos?
While wandering your farmers market, you may have spotted a curious-looking green globe that looks like an unripe tomato encased in a papery skin and wondered: “What is that?” This farmers market find is a tomatillo, a fruit that is part of the nightshade family that tomatoes also belong to, but is actually more closely related to the gooseberry.
Now that you know the tomatillo’s quirky botanical background, let’s move on to more important matters: it’s delicious. Long used in Mexican and Southwest American cooking, tomatillos are most often used raw (that’s why they’re still green) to impart a tart vegetal flavor with hints of lemon and herbs.
You’ve probably eaten tomatillos in salsa verde served with tortilla chips, or over enchiladas and chilaquiles, and those popular dishes will never go out of style. But there’s so much more you can do with tomatillos than blending them up into a sauce.
Don’t hesitate to put them more at the forefront of a dish, as they are in our Fried Green Tomatillos with Burrata, Cumin and Basil; Tomatillo Scallop Ceviche; Pork and Tomatillo Chili or Crispy-Skin Black Sea Bass with Avocado, Tomatillo and Fennel Relish.
Brian Kennedy, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved
No matter how you choose to cook them, there are a few things to know before you do. When buying tomatillos, look for firm fruit and tight-fitting husks. Store them in a paper bag in the refrigerator and they’ll last for a few weeks. When you’re ready to prep, remove the parchment-like husks and rinse the fruits. When you’re ready to blend, chop, stew or fry ‘em up and tuck into a dish with a totally unique, sophisticated flavor you won’t find anywhere else.
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