Though related to tomatoes, tomatillos should not be mistaken for green unripe tomatoes. Unlike tomatoes, tomatillos have a thin papery husk that breaks open as it ripens. The fruit itself has a tart citrus like flavor that is the signature of Mexican salsa verde. The skin of the tomatillo is somewhat tough so it needs to be blanched in boiling water to soften the skin before using.
This is a basic recipe for tomatillo salsa (Salsa Verde) adapted from the one my fellow cooks use for family meal.
Ingredients, makes about 2 cups:
1 lb. fresh tomatillos, husks removed (approx. 4)
1-2 fresh jalepeno peppers (more if you like it hot)
1 small onion, chopped
1 bunch of fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 Tbsp. lime juice
salt, to taste
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the tomatillos and jalepenos and cook until the tomatillos turn yellow. Remove both the tomatillos and the jalepenos and cool them in ice water. Drain.
2. Remove the stems from the tomatillos and jalepenos. Combine all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until the mixture is a rough puree.
3. For a more chunky salsa, blanch only the tomatillos, cool them in ice water, drain, then dice. Stem and de-seed the jalepenos and finely dice them. Combine the diced tomatillos and jalepenos with the remaining ingredients.