A tomatillo is a lot like a present in fruit form. You unwrap the sticky husks and are left with a super versatile, slightly sour golf-ball-size green fruit. Tomatillos are available year-round, but you can find them local and ripe at the end of the summer — the perfect time of year for endless salsas on everything from homemade tortilla chips to barbecued meat and shellfish. Store tomatillos in the fridge for up to a week with the husks still intact. When you’re ready to use, peel the husks off of your tomatillos and gently rinse them (and your hands at that point) to remove the sticky residue left behind. All parts of the fruit are edible except for the husk, so you can just toss the seeds and all of that good stuff into whatever you’re making. Cape gooseberries are the smaller and sweeter, but similarly husked, cousin of the tomatillo, and they also start to pop up in very limited quantities toward the end of summer and beginning of fall. Get peeling!
- Wow your guests with handmade olive tortillas or, if you’re running short on time, buy premade tortillas for the Olive Oil Poached Shrimp with Olive Tortillas, Cumin-Scented Black Beans and Tomatillo Avocado Salsa recipe.
- Cuban Bowl with Tostones is a labor of love. The meat marinates overnight and then is cooked low and slow for six hours. But those bowls of pork, rice, fried plantains and black beans will be SO satisfying that this might just become your go-to slow-cooked meal for fall.
- Substitute tomatillos for tomatoes next time you make salsa for a slightly sour and tangy end product: Fresh Fried Corn Chips with Tomatillo Salsa, Tomatillo Salsa or Salsa Verde: Green Tomatillo Salsa (pictured above).
- Start the day with a balanced meal. Nuevos Huevos Rancheritos are served with black beans, grilled tomatillos, guacamole and a dollop of Cilantro Cream sauce on top.
- Similar to the salsas above, add tomatillos to your guac, then serve Tomatillo Guacamole with everything, especially Skirt Steak Quesadillas.