Inside the papery, parchment- like husk covering, the bright green- yellow tinted balls lend the appearance of little green tomatoes. In Spanish they are even called ‘little tomatoes’. Indeed tomatillos are a fruit, just like the tomato, but they are not tomatoes.
Tart and citrus-y, tomatillos are used in a broad array of Mexican dishes including as the main ingredient in the green sauce that perhaps you may choose cooked in or drizzled on to your stuffed burrito or enchiladas at the local Mexican restaurant.
Tomatillos may be eaten raw or cooked. They do lose their color brilliance once cooked though.
Cooking tomatillos also mellows or balances out the tartness a bit but with bins of these beautiful fresh fruits at Cardenas Mexican market I decided to share the raw Tomatillo Salsa version and simply add a bit of sugar in balancing the flavors out.
Tomatillos are filled with juice and produce flavorful liquid even when lightly pulsed in the food processor. I like to prepare and chill the salsa one day before using which seems to blend the flavors and textures together quite nicely.
Purchase medium sized tomatillos whose husks look somewhat fresh with the inner fruit shiny and bright.
To prepare the tomatillos remove the outer husk then gently rub the green fruit while rinsing with warm water to remove the outer stickiness and lightly dry them with paper toweling or a clean kitchen towel.
This is what a tomatillo looks like cut in half. When you are ready to begin making your Tomatillo Salsa simply quarter the rinsed and dried fruit and proceed.