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Five Ways to Eat Tomatillos

Somehow, I lived for 30 years without tomatillos, but there's no going back now. While I was on my way back from South Africa last weekend, my husband was on his own to select the vegetables for our CSA share (some programs pick for you, but ours lets us choose at the farmstand). When I returned, h...

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Somehow, I lived for 30 years without tomatillos, but there's no going back now. While I was on my way back from South Africa last weekend, my husband was on his own to select the vegetables for our CSA share (some programs pick for you, but ours lets us choose at the farmstand). When I returned, he proudly showed me our loot, which included a rainbow of peppers, tomatoes, eggplants and corn.

Tomatillos, courtesy of Flickr user Polkaroo

"I also got these. I'm hoping you know what they are," he said, holding out what looked like golf-ball sized green tomatoes wrapped in tan, papery husks.

"Tomatillos!" I exclaimed, recognizing them from photos on one of the food blogs I follow.

"Great! So what do we do with them?" he asked. I had no idea, but my Twitter friends, always a good sounding board for such questions, responded with a chorus of "salsa!"

We decided to try this Rick Bayless recipe (suggested by Leela of She Simmers), and were dumbstruck by how easy and delicious it was. The tomatillos broiled quickly in the toaster oven, and had a citrusy tang of their own before we even added the lime juice. The resulting salsa jazzed up our roasted corn, pepper & bean burritos that night, and our veggie burgers the next night.

Here are five more ways to try tomatillos:

1. Salads. Back to Bayless again: his heirloom tomato "carpaccio" salad with tomatillos sounds divine. You could use the tomatillos in a dressing—What's Gaby Cooking has a recipe that promises to be "the most delicious Avocado and Tomatillo Dressing ever!"

2. Pork chops and applesauce. Spice up traditional comfort food with this Gourmet recipe for "grilled monster pork chops with tomatillo and green apple sauce." (Serve with a Humphrey Bogart accent.)

3. Guacamole. I didn't think it was possible for me to love the stuff even more, but tomatillos could take it to a whole new level. Try this tomatillo guacamole recipe from Kristen of Cheap, Healthy, Good.

4. Eggs. Make Huevos Rancheros or a Mexican-cheese omelet, or simply top your scrambled eggs with tomatillo salsa.

5.  Soups. Try Andrea's roasted tomatillo soup with chicken, Food & Wine's pork and tomatillo stew, or this vegetarian-friendly black bean and tomatillo soup from Kayln's Kitchen.
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About Amanda Bensen

Amanda Bensen is a former assistant editor at Smithsonian and is now a senior editor at the Nature Conservancy.

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