The Foodie

Tomatillos, husk tomatoes, physalis

What’s Fresh in Early August: Tomatillos

July 31, 2009
by Erin Harris
One of the tasty fruits that is ripe in early August is the small tomatillo. Known in Mexico as tomates verdes or fresadillas, tomatillos are characterized by their papery outer husk. The tart and healthy fruit is a staple in many Mexican and Central American dishes.

Tomatillos: Tasty and Healthy

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Tomatillos were first cultivated by the Aztecs as early as 800 BCE, and their tart, lemony flavor makes them the perfect keynote of salsa verde. According to Food Network Canada, “tomatillos contain a pectin-like substance that thickens the sauce or salsa upon refrigeration.” The fruit measures between one to two inches in diameter and is best eaten when its skin is bright green.

Spice up your healthy diet with tomatillos, which are a great source of vitamins A, C, folic acid and potassium. Dr. Manny Alvarez includes tomatillos in his list of the Seven Latin Powerfoods on the Fox News Health Blog.

Tomatillos take the spotlight in this gazpacho recipe, which also includes cool English cucumbers and green bell peppers that balance out the heat from fiery jalapeño peppers. EatingWell recommends topping the chilled soup with creamy avocado; sweet, chopped shrimp and olives.

If you are feeling adventurous, Gourmet Sleuth provides a recipe for tomatillo jam that pairs the tomato-like fruit with lemon and sugar.

Tomatillos play a key role in many Mexican and Latin dishes, for more delicious recipes that include tomatillos or for tips no where to buy tomatillos and other ingrediants, see the Mexican Food and Cuisine Guide.
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