Tag Archives: tomatillos

For the love of tomatillos and spring

I never would have thought that I would be a gardener. My thumb has never been green and most of my house plants have died. Of course, it doesn’t help that I have a cat who goes after all plants. Even after many stomach aches over the last 16 years his enthusiasm has not wavered.


Last year my husband unveiled his plans for a vegetable garden. And like all things my husband does he was going all out. We had 7 different varieties of heirloom tomatoes (and he really doesn’t like tomatoes!), many types of hot peppers (including one called fish which has been traced to the late 1800s grown by African Americans in the Chesapeake Bay region), miniature bell peppers, eggplant, potatoes (who knew there was a variety called French Fingerling) , strawberries, cucumbers, peas, crooked-neck squash, pumpkins, collard greens, cabbage, spinach, kale, basil, oregano, thyme, leeks, okra, carrots (eaten by our friend “peter parker rabbit”) and last but definitely not least…..


Salsa Verde has always been my favorite salsa. And coming from the Southwest that is saying a lot. I asked my husband to grow tomatillos because I hoped that we would end up with some jars of green salsa to enjoy. I had never really thought about the fruit beyond that. A cousin of the tomato I assumed and I do love tomatoes.

My love affair with this delightful fruit grew with the garden last year and now I can say it is bordering an obsession.

Tomatillos, also known as husk cherries, Mexican tomatoes, jam berries or ground cherries, have this magical paper-thin husk that forms. I know that it must be this fruit that inspired the creation of the Asian paper lanterns. I didn’t know what to do with these husks at first. Where is the fruit? I asked. But it soon became apparent that the bright green fruit grew within this protective layer until it almost split it in two.

Tomatillos have this interesting taste a mix of smokey and sweet. I hesitantly tried it right off the plant. Then I started tossing them in with meat and other veggies to cook in the oven. It was so delicious, really bringing out the sweet flavor. I want to find out all that is tomatillo. So please share if you have any tomatillo stories.


Well thank god it is Spring again. And I’m as excited as my husband about the garden. Like philosphers and writers through the ages have waxed poetic about being one with nature, there really is no better feeling than to be digging in the dirt or havesting bags and bags of vegetables. And this year we are growing five types of tomatillos!