Have you ever wanted to grow a plant that has zero insect problems, zero disease problems and that re-seeds itself well? In essence, one that takes care of itself?
I give you, the tomatillo.
This plant is amazing. It prefers the same conditions as tomatoes but is a lot less fussy. It also doesn’t need as much support as it doesn’t grow as large. But it produces a steady supply of tangy little fruits that are perfect for making Salsa Verde with.
The first year that I planted tomatillos, I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised with how well they did. Tomatillos are tart and zesty – almost like you added some lime juice to them. They have a fun flavor and make a beautiful salsa.
The fruits grow in little paper husks. You know that they are ready when the husk is filled or when the husk begins to crack open and/or turn yellow. When you peel the husks off, the fruits will be somewhat sticky. Just rinse them with water to remove the stickiness.
The year following that first year, I found little tomatillo plants that grew up all over the place in my garden. I simply kept the ones that I wanted and pulled up the rest. A basic stake next to each plant usually does the trick once I tie the stem to the stake but a tomato cage would work really well too.
Try planting a tomatillo plant or two in your salsa garden.
If you grow an Anaheim pepper plant or jalapeno plant and some onions and cilantro, you will have everything you need for this delicious salsa verde…one of my husband’s favorites!
1 1/2 pounds tomatillos, husked and rinsed (about 6 cups after husks are removed)
2-3 fresh green Anaheim peppers, stems and seeds removed
1 jalapeno pepper (optional)
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
1/2 cup white onion, chopped
Salt to taste
Adjust oven rack to 4-5 inches below the broiler. Preheat broiler.
Place tomatillos and peppers in a single layer on a baking sheet with sides. Broil until roasted and blackened spots begin to appear, about 5 minutes. Turn over and roast the other sides, 4-5 minutes more, until the tomatillos are blistered and the peppers are soft and cooked through.
Cool and transfer to a blender, including any juices that have run onto the baking sheet. Add cilantro and water (if needed). Blend to a coarse puree.
Add onion and salt and pulse or stir just until combined.
Serve your salsa verde immediately, refrigerate or freeze for later. It tends to gel when stored so don’t be too surprised if it looks like Jello after sitting in the fridge.
It recovers nicely though!