Tomatillos are such a weird little fruit. If tomatoes are technically a fruit, I'd say tomatillos must be too. Wrapped in wrinkly, papery husks, they can look quite intimidating. I passed them by time & time again, because I didn't really know how to choose them or what to do. Once I got over my fear, I realized what a treat it is to have them fresh. Even from the can, enchillada sauce is great, & green salsa is always delicious; but isn't it always just a little bit rewarding to handle the fresh ingredients with your own hands?
Psst - don't pronounce the "L"s. Tom - A - Tee - Oh. Like tortilla, quesadilla...you get it.
When we get a really great, fresh batch, I enjoy them sliced with just a touch of sea salt. Making a salsa has got to be one of the best ways of using tomatillos though. I especially like how sweet champagne mangoes complement the tart tomatillos & spicy serranos.
I don't remember exactly what we did, but you don't need a recipe. Follow your tastes. I think we used two mangoes, four tomatillos, four baby spring onions (these give a fresher, less pungent flavor than more traditional red onion), & half a *serrano pepper all chopped together. You can use a food processor or immersion blender if you prefer less chunky salsa. I finished it off with zest & juice from one or two limes, sea salt, & chopped mint. You could do cilantro or lemon balm instead. *My suggestion would be to start small with the pepper & add more if needed. We like spicy but had a pretty hot serrano, so I only added half but included the seeds as well. Removing the seeds will make it milder. You can use jalapeno or habenero for a hotter salsa.
Store tomatillos in a paper bag in the fridge. To choose ripe tomatillos, look for husks that are splitting & turning purplish in color. They start to loosen & pull away from the fruit it seems. You want the husk to pull away easily by hand & leave little sticky residue. You'll find bright green, shiny, firm fruits inside. Discard the husks & rinse or swish the tomatillos with water to get rid of any stickiness that remains.
We pair this salsa with steamed summer squash quesadillas. I am in love with mint & oregano with crookneck squash; I just throw a couple substantial pinches of each in the basket while thin slices steam. I like more mint than oregano. If you have a grill, go for it & grill your squash instead; then you can just grill & dish up the tortillas too. That would be awesome.
To balance out the spiciness of the salsa, I serve this with cooling cucumber sticks. A shot of Petron & more limes just seem fitting too.
What is the most exciting vegetable or fruit you've cooked with this summer?