Tomatillos are plump green fruits with a delicious tart flavor. Though they’re related to tomatoes, they don’t initially bear a strong resemblance. Tomatillos are covered in brownish-green papery husks, and the fruit underneath can feel a little sticky. They’re popular in Mexican cooking, where they are often used as the base of delicious sauces.
Don’t be fooled by that husk, it’s what’s inside that counts. Underneath the shell you’ll find a fruit that looks very much like a firm green tomato, but with a unique flavor and texture all its own.
If you already love green salsas, then you know what we’re talking about. If you’re new to cooking with tomatillos, then read through this guide and get ready to crave a big batch of quesadillas.
Cooking and Preparing Tomatillos
Once you peel off the husk, you’ll find the surface of the fruit is a bit sticky. Just give them a rinse in a colander and that will disappear. After that, there are a few different ways that we love preparing tomatillos. You can chop them up raw to make a piquant green salsa, or you can boil them to mellow their color and flavor. In our favorite enchilada recipe, we start by roasting the tomatillos to give them an earthy, fiery flavor before making them into a sauce. This is a similar approach to cooking with a comal, a classic technique in Mexican cuisine.
For an easy salsa, start with chopped (or blended) tomatillos. Add them to a pan with sautéed garlic and onion. If you like, a slightly hot pepper, like a poblano, helps balance out the pleasant tartness.
Cook the tomatillos until they are soft and slightly browned. You now have a simple and delicious sauce that is perfect layered with tortillas, chicken, beans, and cheese. This green sauce creates an epically delicious platter of enchiladas. We hope you enjoy!