If you’re a fan of Mexican cuisine and want to give yourself a delicious challenge in the kitchen, consider learning how to cook with tomatillos. Tomatillos are tart, flavorful green fruits that make for an excellent addition to many dishes, as they add complexity and depth when cooked. From savory tacos topped with spicy salsa verde to mouthwatering enchiladas oozing cheesy goodness, cooking with these unique little vegetables is sure to bring your favorite recipes to life. In this blog post, we’ll unpack all the ways you can incorporate them into meals that will tantalize your taste buds—so get ready for some deliciousness.
- 1 Understanding The Definition
- 2 What Are Other Ways Preparing Tomatillos?
- 3 How To Cook With Tomatillos?
- 4 What Are Tips For Each Cooking Method With Tomatillos?
- 5 How To Incorporate Tomatillos Into Different Dishes?
- 6 How To Select And Store The Best Tomatillos?
- 7 How Tomatillos Can Be Used Beyond Cooking?
- 8 What Are Alternatives For Tomatillos?
- 9 Conclusion: How To Cook With Tomatillos?
- 10 FAQs: Tomatillos
- 10.1 Are tomatillos OK to eat raw?
- 10.2 Is it better to roast or boil tomatillos?
- 10.3 Are you supposed to boil tomatillos?
- 10.4 What do tomatillos taste like cooked?
- 10.5 Do tomatillos taste like green tomatoes?
- 10.6 How long do tomatillos need to be cooked?
- 10.7 Can you cook tomatillos like tomatoes?
- 10.8 Can you eat tomatillos like tomatoes?
- 10.9 What happens when you overcook tomatillos?
- 10.10 Do I need to rinse tomatillos?
- 10.11 Do tomatillos cause inflammation?
Understanding The Definition
What Is Tomatillos?
Before knowing how to cook with tomatillos, you should know about the basics. Tomatillos are a small, green fruit that is related to the tomato. However, while tomatoes are typically sweet and soft, tomatillos have a much more tart flavor and firmer texture. The most recognizable type of tomatillo is the husk-wrapped variety with its papery outer coating—and it’s this variety that remains popular in Mexican cuisine.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Tomatillos?
Tomatillos are not only delicious but also incredibly nutritious. They’re a great source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as dietary fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. Tomatillos can help reduce inflammation due to their antioxidant properties, while the dietary fiber found in them supports digestion and helps lower cholesterol levels. Eating tomatillos on a regular basis can also help keep your heart healthy.
What Are Other Ways Preparing Tomatillos?
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to prepare tomatillos, consider boiling them. To do this, remove the husks and rinse them before adding them to a pot of boiling water. Boil for about 10 minutes (until fork-tender) and then drain. The cooked tomatillos can now be added to soups, stews, and casseroles.
Grilling is another great way to prepare tomatillos. To do this, remove the husks and place them directly onto the grill over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes (until lightly charred). Slice each tomatillo into quarters before adding it to your favorite recipes—it’s that simple.
If you’d like to preserve the flavor of tomatillos for later use, consider drying them. Start by washing and slicing your tomatillos before laying them out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place the baking sheet in an oven preheated to 200°F for several hours, until the tomatillos are completely dried and crispy. Once cooled, store them in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
Frying is another great way to enjoy tomatillos. To fry them, remove the husks and rinse the tomatillos before slicing them into thin pieces. Heat some oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and add the tomatillo slices when hot. Fry for about 2 minutes per side until golden brown before seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
How To Cook With Tomatillos?
Tomatillos are versatile and delicious. Here, we’ll explore different ways to use them in cooking for unique and flavorful meals. Start by husking the tomatillos, removing the papery husk and washing them with cold water. Now, let’s start cooking! Tomatillos make a great base for sauces and salsas. For a classic Mexican salsa verde, blend tomatillos with jalapeños, garlic, onions, cilantro, and lime juice. Roasting is another option. Place tomatillos on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast at 400°F for 20 minutes to enhance their flavor. You can also add chopped tomatillos to enchiladas or quesadillas, or try them in muffins or quick breads for a unique twist. Tomatillos are easy to use and add a delicious touch to your dishes.
What Are Tips For Each Cooking Method With Tomatillos?
- Cut the tomatillo into small pieces before roasting to achieve even cooking.
- Add olive oil and seasonings for extra flavor.
- Roast at 375°F for 10-15 minutes, until lightly browned.
Making Salsa Verde
- Simmer husked tomatillos with onion, garlic, and jalapeno in a pan for about 10 minutes.
- Blend the ingredients together until smooth and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve it cold or warm with your favorite chips.
Adding Tomatillos To Enchiladas
- Sauté chopped tomatillos in a pan with onion, garlic, and your favorite Mexican spices.
- Add the mixture to warm corn tortillas and top them off with cheese before baking for 15 minutes at 375°F.
- Remove the husks before boiling.
- Boil for about 10 minutes (until fork-tender) then drain.
- The cooked tomatillos can now be added to soups, stews, and casseroles.
- Remove the husks before grilling.
- Place them directly onto the grill over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes (until lightly charred).
- Slice each tomatillo into quarters before adding it to your favorite recipes.
- Start by washing and slicing your tomatillos before laying them out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Place the baking sheet in an oven preheated to 200°F for several hours, until the tomatillos are completely dried and crispy.
- Once cooled, store them in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
- Remove the husks and rinse the tomatillos before slicing them into thin pieces.
- Heat some oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and add the tomatillo slices when hot.
- Fry for about 2 minutes per side until golden
How To Incorporate Tomatillos Into Different Dishes?
Tomatillos are incredibly versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes from soups and stews to salads, salsas, and sauces. You can also use tomatillos in Mexican-inspired recipes like tacos, enchiladas, burritos, and quesadillas. Try adding roasted or grilled tomatillos to your favorite dishes for a unique flavor and added nutrition.
How To Select And Store The Best Tomatillos?
Now you know how to cook with tomatillos, when selecting tomatillos at the market, look for fruits that are bright green and firm with a dry husk. Avoid any specimens that are soft or discolored—they’ve likely gone bad. Unhusked tomatillos can be stored in a cool, dry place for up to 1 week. Once husked, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.
How Tomatillos Can Be Used Beyond Cooking?
Tomatillos can also be used in a variety of dishes beyond cooking. For example, they make an excellent addition to smoothies and juices, as their tart flavor can help cut through the sweetness of other ingredients. Tomatillos are also great for making homemade pesto or adding to salad dressings for extra flavor. Finally, try using tomatillo puree as a base for your next homemade salsa or guacamole.
What Are Alternatives For Tomatillos?
If you find yourself unable to source tomatillos, there are a few alternatives. Green tomatoes can be used interchangeably with tomatillos in most recipes due to their similar flavor and texture. Other options include jicama, apples, unripe mangoes, or even lemon juice—just make sure to adjust the other ingredients accordingly. Ultimately, it’s best to use whatever you have on hand and experiment with different flavors until you find the combination that works for you.
Conclusion: How To Cook With Tomatillos?
Tomatillos are a delicious and nutritious addition to any meal. To get the most out of them, try boiling, grilling, drying, frying or roasting them. You can also use tomatillos in various dishes from soups and stews to salads and salsas. When selecting tomatillos at the market, look for fruits that are bright green and firm. Finally, if you find yourself unable to source tomatillos, there are a few alternatives such as green tomatoes or jicama that can be used interchangeably with tomatillos in most recipes. With these tips for cooking with tomatillos, you’ll be able to whip up some delicious meals in no time. Thank you for reading “how to cook with tomatillos?”.
Are tomatillos OK to eat raw?
Indeed, tomatillos are edible in their raw state. However, they possess a sour, tart, and acidic taste (according to Eat Delights), contrasting with the sweeter and tangier flavor they develop when cooked.
Is it better to roast or boil tomatillos?
When I cook at home, I find myself drawn to a roasted tomatillo variation for this reason: Tomatillos possess acidity, and roasting enhances their inherent sweetness (consider the contrast between boiled and roasted carrots). Additionally, the presence of charred skin imparts a rustic, robust quality.
Are you supposed to boil tomatillos?
To efficiently peel tomatoes, follow these steps: Start by blanching the tomatoes in hot water, which loosens the skin from the flesh. Then, transfer them to an ice bath to halt the cooking process and cool them down for easy handling. This method ensures that you can effortlessly remove the skin while preserving the original flavor and texture of the tomatoes.
What do tomatillos taste like cooked?
Tomatillos, when fresh, possess a distinctive flavor that is tang, vibrant, and reminiscent of citrus. They are primarily consumed in a cooked state, although raw preparations are also possible. Boiling preserves the tomatillos’ tartness, while roasting imparts a subtle sweetness, mitigating some of their tart qualities.
Do tomatillos taste like green tomatoes?
Tomatillos, also known as Mexican green tomatoes, are part of the same family as tomatoes. Unlike their green tomato counterparts, tomatillos offer a unique flavor profile that combines hints of lemon, apples, and herbs. Despite these subtle differences, tomatillos still share many similarities with green tomatoes.
How long do tomatillos need to be cooked?
In a saucepan, place the tomatillos and cover them with water. Bring to a gentle boil and let them simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, remembering to flip them over halfway through. This will allow them to soften and transform into a beautiful shade of olive green.
Can you cook tomatillos like tomatoes?
Consuming tomatillos in their raw state is not as prevalent, but equally delightful. They possess a firmer texture, tangier taste, and a more vegetal essence akin to youthful tomatoes. Upon cooking, tomatillos undergo a slight reduction in their vibrant green hue, while their inherent fruity sweetness becomes more pronounced.
Can you eat tomatillos like tomatoes?
Texture: Unlike regular tomatoes, ripe tomatillos maintain a firm and dense, yet crisp, texture. In contrast, ripe tomatoes are tender, juicy, and prone to bruising. Uses: Although both fruits can be consumed raw, chefs often opt to char or grill tomatillos before incorporating them into salsas or jams.
What happens when you overcook tomatillos?
Improperly rinsed tomatillos can leave a soapy taste in your salsa if not properly cleaned of their sticky residue. However, when using charred tomatillos as a base for green sauce, they can yield a delightful, almost sweet salsa with a hint of lemony flavor.
Do I need to rinse tomatillos?
Prior to use, remove the inedible husks from tomatillos and ensure they are thoroughly rinsed to eliminate any natural stickiness. No peeling or seeding is necessary as tomatillos can be consumed as is.
Do tomatillos cause inflammation?
Individuals with arthritis or inflammation should avoid consuming tomatillos, as the alkaloid substances present in this vegetable may exacerbate these conditions. Additionally, tomatillos, being a member of the nightshade family, have the potential to trigger allergic reactions in certain individuals.
Michael J. Fanola is the chef and owner of Joe’s French Italian Inn Restaurants. He has over 30 years of culinary experience, and his restaurants have been voted “Best Italian Restaurant” by the readers of the Staten Island Advance for many years in a row. Michael is a graduate of the prestigious Culinary Institute of America, and he has worked in some of the most highly acclaimed kitchens in the country.