First things first: Tomatillos aren’t underripe tomatoes. Maybe you already knew that, but it should still be said, especially when the name “tomatillo” translates to “little tomato.” While tomatillos have many of the same acidic qualities of tomatoes, they are firmer, tangier and less sweet.
Tomatillos also come with a papery husk, which gives them their other name, “husk tomato.” Peel off that husk, run the tomatillo under a little water to rinse off its sticky coating, and you’re ready for bright flavor. Tomatillos are great raw, blended up into salsas and sauces, but you can also char them to mellow out their sharper notes and puree them into stews.
Whichever route you choose, we have tomatillo recipes to suit all your needs.
Guatemalan Potato and Fresh Green Bean Salad, above. Charred tomatillo and pumpkin seeds come together to form a gorgeous pale green sauce for a simple potato and green bean salad.
Roasted Tomatillo Salmon. Sliced tomatillos, roasted alongside salmon, take on a lovely texture with crispy little bits around the edges. Also, the tomatillos’ acidity plays well with tart lemon notes against the roasted fish.
Braised Chicken Thighs With Tomatillos. This bright braise is just what you need when the weather starts getting ugly. Tomatillo tang will perk you up, while the gently cooked chicken feels so very cozy.
Raw Tomatillo and Chipotle Salsa Verde. All you need to do is blitz up raw tomatillo with chipotle chiles in adobo, some garlic and a little onion to get this wonderful salsa. It’ll be great on winter squash tacos and, of course, with your morning eggs.
Green Chilaquiles. When you’re slogging through the middle of the week, zippy green chilaquiles are the breakfast (or dinner) you need to keep you going. If you want to make it heartier, add in some squash and beans.
Vegan Chili Verde. Chili season doesn’t mean sticking to the same tomato version you’ve used forever. Make it green with tomatillo and kale, and plant-based with beans and bulgur wheat in place of meat.
Raw Salsa Verde With Cucumber and Mint. Here’s another salsa where you just toss everything you need in a blender! Cucumber and mint might seem out of the ordinary for salsa, but they work well with tomatillos’ brightness. This salsa delivers a lively flash of heat on the tongue, which then mellows out.
Pistachio Green Mole. Spicy and creamy, here is an easier, less involved variation of the chocolate-and-almond-based mole you might be used to.
Chicken Posole Verde. Bored with of your usual chicken soup? Break out of your rut with this tasty number! Thanks to the bright lime and tomatillo, and a nice balance of heat, you’ll feel refreshed all winter.
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