How to Grow & Cook Tomatillos

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Tomatillos need to be grown and cooked in a very specific way. Learn how to grow and cook tomatillos with help from a social entrepreneur in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: From Garden to Table
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Video Transcript

I'm Holly Hirshberg from DinnerGarden.org, and today I'm going to show you how to use tomatillos. Tomatillos are one of my favorite fruits. They look like tomatoes, you'll tell when they're ripe, because the paper coating on them will be broken at the bottom. You can see how they start to burst out as they grow. Let me see if I can find a good example of it, for you. As they grow, it looks kind of like that, where they're closed. And then, when they're ripe, it'll open for you to use it. So, you'll know that they're ripe, easy to tell. Now, how do you use them? Is you peel them first, because we're going to get rid of this paper coating and that can go right in your compost bin. They taste a lot like tomatoes, they look a lot like tomatoes, but they're not tomatoes. They taste a lot like tomatoes, but they're a little more lemony, a little bit more sour. Kind of a little more, maybe a grassy taste to them. But they're going to be a little bit sticky, because the paper has some sticky stuff on it. So, I'm going to peel them real quick. And then, I'm going to rinse them off and put them in my colander here, and rinse them off. That's going to make it easier to work with. These are common ingredient in green salsa. If you've ever had green salsa, you have tasted tomatillos. A lot of people don't know what they are, but they'll know the flavor once they have tried it. Alright, so I guess, maybe one more. You can eat them cooked, you can eat them raw, I'm going to make them raw, today. Because I like my fruits and vegetables not cooked, I like that way more than having them cooked. So, first I'm going to rinse them just real quick, get some of the slime off, that little, sticky coating. And it's not hard to get off, they're not going to stay really gluey or anything. O.k., and now, I'm going to cut them up. So, you just cut it like you would cut a tomato, they're a little bit more firm than a tomato. You can see they have lots of seeds, and if you harvest these. Then, you can plant them right in your garden and they'll grow. The great thing about growing tomatillos, they really like hot weather, they like drought. So, they don't require a lot of care. And here in Texas, they grow like weeds. And what they'll do then, as they growing, is they'll drop some fruit and reseed for next year. So, if you plant tomatillos once, and they grow, next year they're going to grow on their own. Alright, so I have my tomatillos there. And you can see the seeds are very, very tiny, I don't even know, if you can see them,they're really small. You can eat them, you can plant them, however you want to do it. I'm going to cut up another one. If you wanted to throw these in a little skillet over some low heat, you could do that. If you wanted to cook them down, you could do that, and they freeze well too. A lot of people here in Texas, will make tomatillo salsa and then, they will freeze it, so that they'll have salsa all year long. One tomatillo plant will grow lots and lots of tomatillos. And when that happens, you can have salsa during the winter months. These two look so great right there, then pick up my pieces, they look good. That's going to go in my compost, so it's not wasted. Because I don't like actually, I don't like wasting produce. O.k., I have my tomatillos. To eat them, I'm going to add a little bit of olive oil, you don't have to do the olive oil, I just like it, it enhances the flavor a little bit. And some lemon juice, you know how I am, I love lemons on everything, I like citrus fruits. So, I'm going to squeeze it into my hand to catch the seeds. This is just going to brighten up the flavor. Lemon juice brings out the flavor in lots of food. And next time, you are making mashed potatoes. I'm telling you, squeeze in about two tablespoons of lemon juice,and it is going to taste very different, you're going to love it. O.k., I have my lemon juice and now, I'm going to add a little bit of salt and pepper. Not a lot, I just want enough to bring out the flavor. I don't want to add enough, so that it tastes really salty. I don't like things that are like super salty, but I like it to enhance the flavor. A little bit of pepper, because pepper tastes great and it looks cooler in there too. Mix it up, you might want to let it sit five or ten minutes, to let the flavors blend. Tastes great, kind of crunchy, kind of apple-y, um, delicious, so easy, so easy, you can do this anytime, tomatillos.

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