Week 23 Harvesting Tomatillo Tomatoes with Recipe…

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The mysterious Tomatillo Tomato…

Tomatillo Tomatoes

I love the little paper lanterns on my Tomatillo Tomato.

Right after the flower appears, a little husk starts growing.  It’s hollow and looks like the Oriental paper lanterns hanging onto the branches.  Then a Tomatillo Tomato starts growing and soon fills up the husk until it splits the husk and is ready to harvest.

I have also noticed that the growing time for the Tomatillo is longer than all the other varieties of Tomatoes I have in my garden.

They are temperamental too.  If they get the same amount of water as the other tomatoes, the leaves turn yellow and die right away.  They also don’t really like the extreme heat, the leaves are really tender.

Sliced TomatilloWhen you pull away the husk after you harvest them, there is a sticky substance on the skin of the tomatillo, but it rinses off easily.

The meat of the Tomatillo is not like any of the other varieties of tomatoes either.  It’s not just that it’s a light green in color, but it’s almost all meat and a few seeds, but doesn’t have the juice like a regular tomato.

The flavor is very tart and I don’t suggest that you eat like you would a regular tomato either.  It makes the most delicious Tomatillo Salsa Verde and this is why I added them to my Tomato Garden!

Enjoy this weeks short video and my Tomatillo Salsa Verde Recipe.

You need to feed your tomato garden Blood Meal this week and keep watering. It’s getting hotter and your tomato plants will be stressed if they don’t get enough water.  We are going to try to extend our tomato season through all of the summer and enjoy a fall harvest.  Pick off any infected leaves, and let some sucker branches grow, but keep your tomato plants trimmed and neat.

Tomatillo Salsa Verde

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa


For a tangy, well-balanced tomatillo salsa recipe that highlighted the green, citrusy notes of the fruit and that paired nicely with a variety of Mexican dishes, we briefly broiled whole husked tomatillos to soften their firm texture and tame their acidity. A few quick pulses in a food processor along with onion, garlic, jalapeños, cilantro, and lime juice and the salsa was ready to serve.

Makes 2 1/4 cups

Canned tomatillos cannot be substituted in this recipe. This variation makes less salsa than you would expect because the tomatillos release some of their liquid during the roasting. The outer husk of a fresh tomatillo should be dry, the tomatillo itself should be bright green, with a fresh, fruity smell. While fresh tomatillos are preferred for this recipe, canned ones will work as well; substitute two 13-ounce cans tomatillos, drained, and skip step 1. Serve this salsa with grilled meats or fish, tamales, fajitas, or simply as a dip for tortilla chips.


  • pound fresh Tomatillos (about 8), husked and washed
  • 1/2 small Onion, chopped coarse
  • medium Jalapeño, seeds and ribs removed (seeds minced and reserved), chile halved lengthwise
  • medium Garlic clove, peeled
  • teaspoon Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh Cilantro leaves
  • tablespoon juice from 1 Lime
  • Salt


  1. Adjust an oven rack 5 inches from the broiling element and turn on the broiler. Toss the tomatillos, onion, jalapeno, and garlic with the oil and spread out over a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil, shaking the pan occasionally, until the vegetables are well charred, 10 to 12 minutes. Removed the vegetables from the oven and allow them to cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
  2. Transfer the broiled vegetables to a food processor. Add the cilantro, lime juice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt, and process until coarsely chopped, about 7 pulses. Season with the minced jalapeno seeds and salt to taste and serve. (The salsa can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days; return to room temperature and season with salt and lime juice to taste before serving.)

    *Reprinted with permission from Cook’s Illustrated Magazine. For more information about this magazine or other publications by America’s Test Kitchen call 800-526-8442. Selected articles and recipes, as well as subscription information, are also available online at www.cooksillustrated.com

    Here’s this weeks, tomato update:

    Texas Wild Cherry Tomatoes

    Texas Wild Cherry Tomatoes

    Next week, we’ll be harvesting our little Wild Texas Cherry Tomatoes and I’ll share a recipe.

    Ramona Werst,
    Your Backyard Genie