Tomatillos

by admin - May 17th, 2010.
Filed under: Recipes. Tagged as: , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Amazing to Grow & Delicious in Huevos Verde!

I adore almost every type of flowering plant in the world but, if it comes down to a choice, I always make room for a food producing plant over a flowering one (well, there are a few exceptions – the gorgeous white tree peony that just finished blooming has a special spot in amongst the blueberries, for example!). In my wee garden, I do have to be selective about what I plant and only those that produce a good harvest get a second chance! I had never grown Tomatillos “Physalis ixocarpa” until last year when a friend gave me a started purple plant as a companion to the little green variety “Toma Verde” that I had purchased from a local garden shop. These definitely fall within the class of plants that will always have a spot in my garden from now on. They do grow fairly tall and spindly and seemed to like the trellis they were sharing with a potted plant nearby. Of the two varieties I tried, the Toma Verde was far superior, both in the number and size of fruit produced. The little fruits amazed me as they appeared in their little papery wrappers, which slowly began splitting open to reveal the firm, shiny green fruit within. When I first touched one I was surprised at the slightly sticky feeling of the skin of the fruit. With the bountiful harvest of the Toma Verde, I had to immediately begin looking for ways to cook my little treasures. Pouring over on-line recipes I, as usual, ended up combining a few and came up with a “Salsa Verde” that I’ve been making ever since and which I love (what can I say – I adore Mexican food!). Tomatillos are expensive in Vancouver in the winter months so I can’t wait to get some more plants into the garden for this year. In our guest house, one of our basic menus includes Huevos Verde – basically poached eggs nestled in some Salsa Verde in a tortilla shell with cheese melted over the top. Throw in some refritos (i.e. refried beans), a little sour cream and some home made guacamole, and you have a feast! Here’s the recipe for Salsa Verdes:

Salsa Verde
10 medium tomatillos, husked (cut larger ones in half)
1 small onion
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 – 2 jalapeno peppers finely chopped (I only use 1/2 for my guests)
1/2 c. chopped cilantro
Juice of 1/2 a Lime
Salt & Pepper to taste
Directions: place tomatillos on baking sheet and roast at 350 degrees for 20 – 30 minutes, or until cooked through and juice is escaping. Drain (but reserve liquid for thinning salsa later, if required). Place tomatillos, garlic, jalapeno, cilantro & salt & pepper in blender and process to desired consistency. Pour into bowl and add finely chopped onion. Adjust salt & pepper to taste. Add more lime if it needs a bit more zip. I also experimented with canning and freezing the salsa. I wasn’t very pleased with the canned product but freezing worked well.
This is the Tree Peony that should have equal billing with the tomatillos as it is also spectacular!