Thursday, September 2, 2010

Tie on Yer Aprons! It's Tomatillo Time!

What is this sprawling mess of a vine??

This little beauty of a fruit may be a new one to you, but I wanted to share the abundance of my garden this summer.

My plants have set a prolific quantity of fruit . . . and belong to the Solanaceae otherwise known as the Tomato Family. These gems are more formally known as Physalis philadelphica, or the amazing tomatillo!

The tomatoes and yellow crookneck squash are just keeping the tomatillos company inside my garden harvest basket... The papery part that wraps around the green fruit is the calyx left over from the flower parts. The calyx is the green stuff that wraps around the flowers before they bloom.

Ripe tomatillos will keep in the refrigerator for about two weeks. They will keep even longer if the husks are removed and the fruits are placed in sealed plastic bags stored in the refrigerator.

However, these tomatillos were destined for another fate. The fate of becoming SALSA VERDE!

The recipe for salsa verde is easy. I really never measure making salsa. It's an organic, loose process where I throw together what makes sense. But if you need quantities here's what you can start with:

- The equivalent of three to four cups of tomatillos. Depending on fruit size the total number of tomatillos will vary.
- Large handful of cillantro. Wash and chop or cut up in food processor.
- Three cloves garlic - roasted.
- One large onion - roasted.
- Two or three jalepeno peppers. Deseed peppers and roast. Add more seeds if you like your salsa HOT!
- One lime.
- Salt (1/2 tsp to 1 tsp) and pepper.

Fire roast all veggies except cilantro. Chop onions, garlic, peppers, and cilantro in food processor. Add roasted tomatillos. Whirl around until combined! Add salt and pepper to taste! And VOILA! You have a delicious healthy salsa that you can claim to be the chef!

And don't forget to wear an apron. This can be splattery business!