Tomatillos: Tangy Treat, Not a “Bad Tomato Mutation”
Marty Martindale

You may have scorned them! Yes. Tomatillos look like neglected, stunted, often sticky greentomatillo2 tomatoes, frequently surrounded with a paper-lantern-looking-type husk. These little gems are Tomatillos and not tomato genes gone wrong. Pronounced, (toh-MAH-tee-YO,) they are a relative of the tomato, also a nightshade, and Mexican cuisine depends heavily on them for the unique tartness they add to snappy green sauces.

The Aztecs first grew tomatillos back in 800 B.C. Their word for them was “miltomatl.”  Now, as they catch on more widely, they are also grown in the U.S.

Tomatillos are rich in vitamin C, fat-free, cholesterol-free and low in calories.

Select tomatillos which are firm and still in their husks. Avoid sticky ones. They have a relatively long refrigerator shelf life. Store them in a paper bag with husks or in a sealed plastic bag without husks. They also freeze well in this condition, sliced or whole. An old tomatillo will turn yellow when old and contains less flavor.


Basic tomatillo cooking:  Remove husks, rinse in cold water, cut into pieces and place in sauce pan with a small amount of water. Simmer for five to seven minutes. From this point use in recipes suggested below:

Eat tomatillos raw, simmered, stewed, braised, roasted, broiled  or grilled.  (Cooking brings out more of their flavor.)
In salsas, meat sauces
Stews and soups
In pesto over pasta
Jams and marmalades
In guacamole
Dip in chocolate

Website recipes for tomatillos:




Marty Martindale

About Marty Martindale

Foodsite Magazine and Marty aim to help the cooking-challenged avoid dependence on others due to lack of cooking knowhow. We concentrate on quick breakfasts, portable lunches and “good-4-u” night meals. With readily available web translation, the magazine explains separate foods, a little of their history, their nutrition, suggested “go-withs,” serving ideas and links to foodsites with recipes.

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