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Though often confused with green tomatoes, tomatillos are actually a relative of the tomato with a completely different flavor. Housed in a papery husk, the tomatillo lends a distinct tart flavor to green sauces and other dishes. Tomatillos are small, just a few inches in diameter and are best used while still green, before they fully ripen to golden or purple hues.

Serving Suggestions

Tomatillos may have a sticky pectin like substance when the husk is first removed. If so, simply rinse with water and proceed to prepare. Tomatillos do not need to be peeled or seeded before use. To quickly remove husks from a large number of tomatillos, put them in boiling water for ten seconds and remove.

Tomatillos are an important ingredient in traditional Mexican cuisine. They pair well with spices like garlic, cumin, and cilantro. Roast them or cook them over the stove top to make green salsa–acidic tomatillos will balance the spice of hot peppers in salsas. They can be added to sandwiches like tomatoes, but with a more tart flavor or used in savory jams.


Tomatillos can be stored with their husks on in a plastic produce bag or paper bag in the fridge, or in the crisper drawer of the fridge for two to three weeks. To freeze, remove husks and place whole fruit into the freezer. When frozen tomatillos thaw they will be softer but can be used in salsas, soups, and jams.

Author AHO Kitchen Team

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