This year was John's third attempt at growing tomatillos. The first two years we didn't get any fruit and learned that in order to yield fruit, two or more plants are required. They are highly self-incompatible plants and highly compatible with the bees.
This year we have fruit and two varieties even though the plants were from the same seed packet. One plant is smaller and produces larger green fruit like I'm used to seeing in the store. The other larger plant yields grape sized, purple fruit. They taste the same.
Tomatillos have a tart flavor and the most common use I've seen is in green salsas and green chili. They were also in the mole sauce I made a couple weeks ago.
My menus for this week are all from the Cuisine at Home Lite cookbook. In it there is a recipe for Roasted Tomatillo Sauce over whole wheat linguine. Decided it was worth a try and it turned out to be quite good. The tomatillos are roasted with garlic and then combined with spinach, fresh herbs and some seasonings. It also calls for cherry tomatoes, but I used sliced Roma tomatoes instead. The sauce has the consistency of loose pesto. I plan to make the sauce again and try freezing it so not to waste the tomatillo harvest.
The recommended side is a Fresh Fruit salad with lime gastrique (a fancy word for sweetened lime juice). Also quite good and simple to make.
There are a lot of tomatillos on the vine. Please let me know if you have any favorite recipes that uses them!
Roasted Tomatillo Sauce
Serves 4; 296 calories per serving
1 # tomatillos, husks removed
6 cloves garlic
1 T olive oil
4 cups (3 oz) fresh spinach
2 T chicken broth (change to vege broth for strict vegetarian)
2 T fresh oregano
2 T fresh thyme
1 t EACH sugar, kosher salt and red pepper flakes
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
Pecorino Romano cheese shavings for garnish (I used Parmesan)
8 oz dry whole wheat linguine or spaghetti
Preheat oven to 400F. Quarter the large tomatillos; leave small ones whole. In a large bowl, combine tomatillos and garlic with olive oil. Toss to coat. Transfer to an 8 x 8 baking dish and roast for 35 minutes. (You'll reuse the bowl).
Put roasted tomatillos in a food processor with the spinach, broth, herbs, sugar, salt, and red pepper flakes. Process until well blended.
Cook pasta according to package directions.
Put drained pasta in the large bowl with the cherry tomatoes. Add tomatillo sauce and toss to coat.
Garnish servings with the cheese.
Fresh fruit with lime gastrique
Serves 4; 110 calories per serving
2 T lime juice
1 T sugar
2 kiwi, peeled and sliced
1 mango, peeled and sliced
1 banana sliced
1 c strawberries, sliced
Whisk lime juice and sugar together. Put fruit in a bowl and add lime juice mixture; toss to coat. Allow to stand 15 minutes before serving.