November 17, 2009

Seasonal Highlight: Tomatillos

Tonight I got to play with tomatillos. I’d never handled one before and was unsure what to do with it, but figured I’d follow my instincts, based on what little experience I do have with their flavor (hello, salsa verde!).

I have to admit, the tomatillo can be a little confusing on first inspection. I mean, is it a tomato or is it a matillo? Kidding, there’s no such thing as a matillo, as far as I know. But after husking the little buggers, the resemblance to tomatoes seemed pretty strong.

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Not so, according to Wikipedia. Tomatillos are, in fact, a member of the nightshade family, along with my beloved eggplant. That’s a good sign!

While my other veggies were roasting, I quartered the tomatillos and threw them in the oven with everything else for the last 10 minutes, then let them broil on their own for another five.

I stole a taste of the raw tomatillo before roasting, and my initial reaction was “limey!” (As in lime, not “blimey,” though that works too.) Considering they bear no resemblance whatsoever to citrus, however, that seemed a little weird. The tartness mellows out a bit after cooking, but the point is that there’s no mistaking that these little guys are a fruit and not a vegetable!

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My broiled tomatillos made a great topping for a Happy Herbivore Cookbook test recipe. If you’re a fan of huevos rancheros, Lindsay’s tofu omelet will hit the spot when dressed up with the tender tomatillos!

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I laid my nom-nom-nom-elet atop a melange of other roasted farmer’s market goodies: roasted turnips, carrots and brussels sprouts. Not wanting the turnip greens to go to waste, I tossed them with a little olive oil and lemon juice and used them as the base of my salad.. The bitterness of the greens and the sourness from the lemon juice contrasted really nicely with the sweet, roasted veggies.

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I think I might have gotten my five servings of vegetables all in one meal! Nice.

Dessert was way fun too. In a cross between cereal and cookies & milk, I drowned a couple vegan mooncakes in almond milk and ate the resulting slop with a spoon. Delicious!

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That’s enough of my harebrained ideas for one evening. Time for you to enter Katie’s Big, Fat Chocolate Giveaway and support Operation Chocolate-Covered Kindness in the process!

15 comments:

chocolate-Katie said...

The tomatillos look good... but I'm REALLY interested in the mooncakes! :)

katherine said...

Mmm I've never had a tomatillo before but now they seem a little bit less intimidating :)

Eva said...

The tomato is a nightshade as well, so your instincts were correct! :D Love you blog, by the way!

Diana said...

Thanks, Eva! That makes more sense now. :)

Shannon said...

nomlet? love it :) hehe. never played with tomatillos...

Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) said...

Girl you are the Queen of New Veggies. I mean Ive had tomatillos but only in restaurants. I actually saw some little peppers at the groc store today and almost bought them, now I wish I had. Great eats, D!

Mama Pea said...

I thought they were a giant gooseberry. Tyler Florence, though cute, is full of crap.

Devan Geselle. N said...

i have had tomatillo salsa before. it was SO good! but not a fresh one.. roasted or broiled would be devine.. oohh. roasted tomatillo salsa!?
what is a "night shade" veggie

The Voracious Vegan said...

I've always seen tomatillos and heard about them but I've never cooked with them myself. Thanks for demystifying them for me, they actually look beautiful and sound delicious. And YAY for Chocolate Covered Kindness!

Missy said...

Looks delicious! I don't think I've ever had a tomatillo before! I love the idea of a tofu omelet too!

Diana said...

Mama Pea -
Tyler Florence is only slightly full of crap. Turns out tomatillos are also referred to as giant gooseberries! Though I don't know who would want to do that...

Devan -
Nightshades mostly refer to potatoes, tomatoes and eggplant, though I'm having trouble figuring out what exactly designates them nightshades over other produce. Looks like they mostly grow as vines and shrubs. Here's a Wikipedia article on nightshades: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nightshade

K from ksgoodeats said...

I've heard of tomatillos but haven't had one so thanks for all the info! That dessert looks so tasty!!

Erica said...

Very cool. I've seen these but never purchased one! Love that you just went with your instincts on the cooking. Your dessert reminds me of how Josh eats cookies- drowned in milk with a spoon :)

FoodFitnessFreshair said...

Thanks for the info on tomatillos! I've seen them but have always been unfamiliar with how to use them.

Gina said...

Great tomatillos info! I'm looking for new veggies to add to my diet, as I'm really cracking down on the ones that give me pain and discomfort. Tomatoes don't hurt me, which is what I thought tomatillos were similar to, but eggplant does hurt me....so I wonder what tomatillos would do to me?? I should test it!