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Tantalizing tomatillo recipes

Diana De Cicco is a food editor and writer based in New York City. She has a master's degree from New York University in Food Studies. Her passions are eating, traveling, and eating while traveling.

It's tomatillo season

A close relative of the tomato, a tomatillo is a small, typically green, husk-covered fruit that is in season from May to October. Tomatillos are tart with a sweet undertone, which pairs well Latin-inspired dishes. These smooth green orbs can be grilled, roasted, sautéed, or stewed. Give these vibrant, versatile fruits a try.

Tomatillo

How to pick, store, and prepare tomatillos

Choosing tomatillos: Tomatillos are mainstream enough to be found in most supermarkets and whole food stores. They are often called husk tomatoes, jam berries, or Mexican green tomatoes. Tomatillos are best just before ripening when they are a bright green color with firm flesh and unwrinkled husks. Storing tomatillos: When you get the tomatillos home, keep the husks on and store them in a paper bag in the refrigerator, they will keep for about two weeks. They can also be frozen (place tomatillos, sliced or whole on a sheet pan in the freezer until frozen then store them in the freezer in a plastic bag). Serving suggestions for tomatillos: Tomatillos can be eaten raw (try them in a salad) or cooked. Tomatillos are divine when grilled (husks removed) over direct heat and sliced into wedges, drizzled with olive oil and a dash of your favorite seasoning. Combine grilled tomatillos with scallions, chiles, and grilled shrimp and spoon the mixture into grilled tortillas for a simple and delicious meal. Tomatillos work very well in salsas or sauces and they can replace tomatoes in almost any dish.

Tomatillo Recipes

Spicy Shrimp with Grilled Tomatillo Salsa

Makes 4 servings Ingredients:
1/2 pound cleaned, peeled large tail-on shrimp
Olive oil
1 small clove garlic, pressed through a garlic press
Salt and pepper, to taste
3/4 pound tomatillos, each cut into six wedges
4 green onions
1 small serrano chile
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground cumin
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
4 tortillas, warmed Directions:
1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Combine shrimp with 1 tablespoon olive oil, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and a dash of black pepper and set aside. 2. Combine tomatillos with olive oil to coat and season with salt and pepper. Place tomatillos on grill and cook 2 1/2 minutes per side or until outside is charred. Move to a bowl and let rest in a warm place. 3. Brush onions and chile with oil and grill 2 minutes or until charred. Remove from heat and let cool. Chop onions into 2-inch pieces and mix with tomatillos. Slice chile in half and take out seeds. Chop chile and mix in with tomatillos. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. 4. Place shrimp on grill and cook 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side. Add shrimp to tomatillos and toss with cumin and oregano. Serve on warm tortillas.

Cheesy Omelet with Tomatillo Salsa

Makes 2 servings Ingredients:
3 tablespoons diced pancetta
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon butter, divided
2 tablespoons minced onion
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 cup peeled, diced tomatillos (about 2 large or 3 medium)
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 eggs
1/4 cup shredded Mexican panela cheese or Cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon chopped cilantro Directions:
1. Sauté pancetta in 1 teaspoon butter until crispy. Add in onion and cook until translucent. Add garlic and tomatillo and cook about 2 minutes or until tomatillo is crisp-tender. Spoon mixture into a bowl and let rest in a warm spot. 2. Whisk eggs with 1/4 teaspoon salt and a dash of pepper. Melt the rest of the butter in a skillet and add the eggs. When they are just set, sprinkle with cheese and cook until eggs are lightly brown and cheese is melted, about 4 to 5 minutes. Fold omelet in half and move to a plate. Top with tomatillo salsa and cilantro.

Pork with Herbed Tomatillo Salsa

Makes 6 servings Ingredients:
2 pounds boneless pork butt
2 to 3 slivered garlic cloves, plus 1 minced garlic clove, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons oil
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 small serrano chile, seeded and minced
1 pound tomatillos, husks removed and coarsely chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
2 teaspoons fresh oregano, divided
1 tablespoon chopped basil
1 tablespoon chopped mint
1 teaspoon lime juice
Black pepper Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut 1-inch slits into surface of pork and place a sliver of garlic in each one. Rub pork with salt and pepper. 2. Heat oil in a large oven-proof casserole skillet over medium-high heat. Place pork in skillet and brown on all sides, about 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer pork to a plate. Sauté onion in skillet over medium heat for 5 to 6 minutes. Add in garlic, chile, and tomatillos and cook about 5 minutes or until tomatillos are tender. 3. Add chicken broth, orange peel, and 1 teaspoon of oregano. Place the pork back into the skillet and spoon liquid over the top. Move skillet to oven and roast, covered, for 2 hours or until it shreds easily. Take skillet out of oven. 4. Move pork to a cutting board. Mix basil, mint, oregano, lime juice, and black pepper into the remaining liquid in the skillet. Shred the pork into thin pieces and move to a serving platter. Either spoon sauce over the top of the pork or serve on the side. For more superb summer recipes, check out these links:

Summer seafood recipes

Refreshing summer lemonade recipes

Sweet and spicy grilled meals

Picnic salads with couscous

Rachel Ray recipes with asparagus

Healthy summer cocktail recipes

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