Experimenting With Tomatillos

Aside from their outer husks, tomatillos look like small tomatoes. Even their names sound the same! Turns out they’re very distant relatives. Find out more about these fabulous fruits -- and why I’m their biggest fan.

Aside from their outer husks, tomatillos look like small tomatoes. Even their names sound the same! Turns out they’re very distant relatives. Find out more about these fabulous fruits -- and why I’m their biggest fan.

What the Heck Is a Tomatillo?

Sometimes referred to as “ground cherries” or “jamberries,” tomatillo fruits grow in a protective husk. On the plant, they kind of look like mini paper lanterns. At the market, you’ll typically find tomatillos with their husks still on. Once you bring them home, peel it away to reveal the electric-green or purple skin. The inner flesh is white or light green and dense, yet soft. You can eat tomatillos raw or cooked -- I prefer cooking them to tone down their distinctly sour flavor.

The tomatillos you find at the supermarket are mostly imported from Mexico. You may be able find some at your local farmers’ market from late July through September. This year, we decided to grow our own in the backyard garden -- the plants have flowered but no fruits yet (fingers crossed!).

The good news is that tomatillos store well. Keep them in the fridge for 1 to 2 weeks with the husks on or up to a month with husks removed. You can also find canned tomatillos that have been blanched and packed in salted water.

Nutrition Facts

One cup of raw tomatillos has 40 calories, 2 grams of protein and vitamin C, as well as niacin (good for energy production) and vitamin K (good for your blood).

What To Do With Tomatillos?

Raw tomatillos are firm and fairly dry, so boiling or roasting helps soften the flesh and bring out their juices. Fresh flavors like onion, garlic, cilantro, lime and jalapeno go well with their bright and tangy taste. Roasted tomatillo salsa is my absolute favorite. I spoon it over scrambled eggs, grilled chicken or fish tacos and serve it up with some tortilla chips. You can also try pickling tomatillos or adding them cooked to sauces or savory breads and muffins.

    Recipes to try:
Keep Reading

Next Up

Experimenting With Hibiscus

My mom has a hibiscus tree in her yard and I’m a fan of hibiscus tea – especially over ice with lemon during the summer. But your options don’t end at floral décor and tea – hibiscus cocktails anyone?

Experimenting with Yucca

Mashed, baked, sautéed or fried -- yucca is as versatile as potatoes. I decided to give this cool tuber a try after it popped up on a few Food Network shows and in my local grocery store. Find out how you can satisfy your starchy cravings with a side of yucca-fied fries.

Dr. Oz's Apple Juice Experiment

Dr. Oz is making headlines after his September 14th show aired pointing fingers at the FDA for not regulating the amount of arsenic found in apple juice. The FDA, on the other hand, is claiming that Dr. Oz is guilty of irresponsible reporting. Who should we be listening to?

Market Watch: Tomatillos

Keep an eye out for these tangy little fruits encased in papery husks next time you're at the farmers market.

Market Watch: Tomatillos

Here’s what to do with fresh tomatillos from the local farmers market.

Market Watch: Homegrown Tomatillos (and Roasted Tomatillo Salsa)

Bright, tangy and deliciously fresh -- nothing tastes quite like a tomatillo. They’ve become a staple in my home garden and this year the harvest was bountiful!

10 Ways to Color Easter Eggs With Household Items — Part Science Experiment, Part Fun

Learn how to naturally color your own Easter eggs from Food Network Magazine. It's a fun method to do with your kids at home.

On TV

Food Network Apps

In the Kitchen

Get over 70,000 FN recipes on all your mobile devices.

Facebook Messenger

Ask our bot for recipes, meal ideas and daily food trivia.

Amazon Echo

Just say "Alexa, enable Food Network skill" to get started.