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You Say Tomato, I Say Tomatillo

You Say Tomato, I Say Tomatillo

I can remember the first time Penny found tomatillos at our local supermarket (of course this was several years ago). She was so excited to have finally found these green looking tomatoes in our area, as she is always looking for new ingredients to try in her delicious recipes. They sure didn’t look all that spectacular to me - certainly not to the level of excitement she was showing. Of course, she was once again about to prove me wrong!


What Are Tomatillos?

Tomatillos, like tomatoes, are a fruit that grows on a vine. They have an inedible husk that turns brown when ripe, and the actual fruit can be a variety of shades when ripe including yellow, red, green or even purple. When buying tomatillos, go for the smaller ones because they are usually a bit sweeter than the larger ones. The outer husk should be light brown and not shriveled to indicate that it is fresh.

Tomatillos are a staple in South American and Mexican cuisine and have a citrus-like taste to them. They are the main component in many authentic green sauces. Roasted Salsa Verde and Farm Fresh Salsa Verde are two of our favorites. Every time Penny whips up a batch it never lasts very long.


Where Can I Get Some?

Tomatillos, which could only be found at specialty grocery stores just a few years ago, can now typically be found at your local chain grocery store. Tomatillos are now a staple of our grocery shopping venture, which we do twice a week. We now look for these as one of the first stops in the produce department, and if we find good ones we pick them up even if we don’t have a recipe scheduled for them yet.

Penny is so good that she has the tomatillo produce code memorized so that when we get to checkout she can give it to the cashier. In the last two years we have yet to find one who didn’t look somewhat confused and ask “What are these?” She now coolly states “They’re tomatillos #4801”. The puzzled look on their faces is always priceless.


Can't Find Fresh Tomatillos?

Luckily for us, there are a number of grocery stores close to where we live. This provides easy access to tomatillos for us, but if you don’t live near a store that carries tomatillos you have another option. We’ve recently gotten our hands on a top quality Tomatillo Powder that can stand in for tomatillos is some recipes. With tomatillo powder, a little goes a long way. It’s perfect for substituting in enchiladas, chili and shepherds pie.


Our Favorite Recipes

Once you get your hands on fresh tomatillos or tomatillo powder, you may be wondering what dishes you should use it in. We’ve collected some of our favorite recipes using tomatillos just for you.
Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas
Roasted Salsa Verde
Sweet Potato Shepherds Pie
Farm Fresh Salsa Verde
Chicken Chili Verde
Latin American Short Ribs
Pozole Rojo


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