Turn your homegrown tomatillos into a delicious sauce or dip using our Raw Salsa Verde recipe!
The first time we saw tomatillos years ago, we thought “what the heck is that?” They looked like small green tomatoes wrapped in paper.
However, the first time we tasted tomatillos (moments after the first sighting), we knew we’d found a new life-long friend.
Where are tomatillos from?
Tomatillos are native to Mexico, where they were originally cultivated by the Aztecs. They’re a staple fruit south of the US border and are found in many Latin American dishes, even though they’re relatively uncommon here in the states.
What’s the difference between tomatoes and a tomatillos?
Both tomatillos and tomatoes are in the nightshade plant family. They’re both similar in shape (round). That’s where the similarities end…
- The largest tomatillo is about the size of mid-sized tomato (and nowhere near as large as a beefsteak tomato, as you can see in the picture above).
- Tomatillos have an inedible papery husk that you remove before eating.
- Tomatillos and tomatoes taste different (see below).
What Do Tomatillos Taste Like?
What do tomatillos taste like? It depends how you eat them…
Raw tomatillo flavor profile
When eaten raw, tomatillos offer an acidic, tangy flavor that many describe as a cross between a granny smith apple and a tomato. We enjoy popping a few raw tomatillos in our mouths when we’re out in our summer garden, but we love bringing them inside to make this raw salsa verde recipe!
Dried/Dehydrated tomatillo flavor profile
When we have a big harvest of tomatillos, we often use our Excalibur dehydrator to dry them into crunchy tomatillo chips. The concentrated flavor of dehydrated tomatillo chips is extraordinary. They’re like tangy cake batter with the texture of a potato chip.
Cooked tomatillos flavor profile
Cooked tomatillos are richer and more mellow than raw tomatillos. They’re great in sauces, stews, and other Latin American recipes.
Growing tomatillos in your garden? Get at least two plants!
The first time we ever tried to grow tomatillos we failed miserably.
We had one giant tomatillo plant that stayed covered with yellow flowers and bees throughout the summer… But it never set a single fruit. What the heck?
After doing a bit of online digging, we realized the source of the problem: tomatillo plants are not readily self-fertile and need another tomatillo plant for pollination.
We’ve had all-we-can-eat tomatillo harvests every summer since this initial mishap simply by growing at least two tomatillo plants in close proximity to each other.
The Tyrant’s Raw Salsa Verde Recipe
Perhaps our favorite thing to do with fresh summer tomatillos is to make Raw Salsa Verde.
We then use salsa verde on pretty much everything: a dip for blue corn chips or quesadillas, a topping for grilled fish and other white meats, etc. For the record, this recipe is also great with roasted tomatillos.
*If you want roasted tomatillos salsa, simply roast your tomatillos on the grill or in a 350 degree oven until the skin is slightly brown, before proceeding with the recipe below!
Here’s The Tyrant’s Tomatillo Salsa Verde recipe:
Salsa Verde Recipe With Homegrown Tomatillos
- 2 cups ripe tomatillos
- 1/4 cup chopped red onion
- 3 garlic cloves hard neck heirloom are best
- 1 chile pepper or 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cilantro seed or 1 teaspoon fresh green cilantro seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon whole toasted mustard seed
- 1 teaspoon organic sugar or 2 stevia leaves
- 1 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
Blend all ingredients in a blender (yes, it's that easy!)
Eat as a dip, as a topping on white meats, or on top of your favorite Latin American cuisines (enchiladas, tacos, etc.)
Share with friends and family
Enjoy this delicious summer treat!