The fruit of the tomatillo
The fruit of the tomatillo

If you ask a farmer at your local farmer’s market, or if you have a well-stocked produce section you might be lucky enough to catch the last tomatillos of the season. Tomatillos grow on bushes similar to tomato plants gone wild

Tomatillos grow on bushes
Tomatillos grow on bushes

The fruit of the tomatillo is about the size of a golf ball and covered in a papery husk.

The fruit of the tomatillo
The fruit of the tomatillo

Tomatillos have a crisp citrus taste, similar to a green tomato* and a smooth waxy skin. The most common color is a beautiful kiwi green, but tomatillo fruits come in many colors including a gorgeous purple/blac

Tomatillos Purple

The bright flavor of the tomatillos makes a sauce that is delicious on everything from a cold roasted vegetable salad or grilled vegetables to huevos ranchero, grilled fish, or even pulled pork.

This Green Tomatillo Sauce recipe is quick and easy. You can even make it ahead and keep it in a sealed jar in the refrigerator.  It’s wonderful to have on hand for those nights when you don’t feel like cooking dinner.

Pick up a rotisserie chicken or a piece of cooked salmon on the way home from work, pour your Green Tomatillo Sauce on it (hot or cold), and voila! You now have a work night meal that feels fresh and inspired.

(A ripe tomato salad is a wonderful accompaniment for any dish with this sauce.)



Green Tomatillo Sauce


1 dried Cascabel chili

If you like a little heat, add 1 jalapeno chili

2 Tablespoons oil

3 garlic cloves, crushed

1 onion, finely chopped

10 fresh tomatillos, husks removed*

  1. Soak the dried chili in hot water for 30 min until softened. Drain, remove the stem, slit the chili and scrape out the seeds, leaving as much pulp as possible on the skin of the chili.
  2. Heat the oil in a frying pan and sauté the garlic and onion for 3-4 minutes until the onions become translucent, while being careful not to let the garlic burn
  3. Chop the chilies and add both chilies and tomatillos to the pan
  4. Cook stirring constantly until the tomatillos start to break up.
  • If you want to give your sauce a deeper flavor, just before you lower the heat, let your sauce burn just a little bit. Then turn down your heat and really give the bottom of the pan a good stir to make sure there is nothing stuck to the bottom.
  1. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 more min.
  2. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. If you want a more rustic sauce serve as is.
  3. If you would like a smoother sauce that would be perfect for enchiladas, let it cool slightly and then puree in a blender.

*Tomatillos are part of the nightshade family. The nightshade family is native to the New World and includes foods that have gone on to become dietary staples around the world, including, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, chilis, eggplant, tobacco, and goji berries. While most of these foods are widely considered vegetables, they are in fact fruits.

**If you can’t get fresh tomatillos, don’t despair. You can buy them frozen in many grocery stores and Latin American markets, and the frozen ones work just as well.  I have some that I picked and froze myself, and they are just the same once you cook them.

Green Tomatillo Sauce That Is Delicious On Everything
Green Tomatillo Sauce That Is Delicious On Everything


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