Tomatillo was a new experience for me as of 2011. I did not know much about growing this plant, but was glad I got two, because two are required to make fruit…as, unlike tomatoes and peppers, the tomatillo cannot successfully self-pollinate. It doesn’t need another tomatillo, any groundcherry will do the job. If the plants are left to sprawl on the ground they may only get 3 feet tall, but I recommend caging them in a corner of the yard.
These are warm season plants and while they will produce an abundance of blooms, none will set fruit until after…I want to say, mid-July in Central Minnesota…after it gets really hot and stays really warm throughout the night. That’s okay though. These giants produce way more fruit than anyone could ever put up.
If you want to get a free, no work taste of the flavor of this fruit, try the Verde Salsa from Taco Bell.
You can also purchase tomatillo’s from the grocery store to make the following recipe. Bear in mind, grocery store produce will never taste as good as what you pull from the plants growing in your back yard…
Tomatillo Salsa Verde
• 1 1/2 lb tomatillos
• 1/2 cup chopped white onion
• 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
• 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
• 1/4 teaspoon sugar
• 2 jalapeño or serrano peppers, stemmed, seeded & chopped
• Salt to taste
1. Remove papery husks from tomatillos and rinse well.
2. Cook the tomatillos. You can either roast them in the oven, or boil them. Roasting will deliver more flavor, but boiling is the most common cooking method.
a. To roast, cut in half and place cut side down on a foil-lined baking sheet. Place under a broiler for about 5-7 minutes to lightly blacken the skin.
b. To boil, place tomatillos in a saucepan, cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove tomatillos with a slotted spoon.
3. Place ingredients in a food processor (or blender) and pulse until all ingredients are finely chopped and mixed. Season to taste with salt. Cool in refrigerator.
Serve as a tortilla dip or sauce for Tex-Mex dishes…Yum!
I will post a tested canning recipe later…which does not use vinegar, and is much better than the recipe in the Ball Blue Book because of that.