Tomatillias – a New Vegetable for Me

We’ve been growing tomatillias in the garden!

A while back we had a veggie challenge and I find I am still adding new vegetables to my meals, especially in the summer.

I didn’t know a whole lot about tomatillias. They’ve been on the edge of my veggie list for a while. Maybe you aren’t familiar with them either. If you’ve ever had verde salsa, you’ve probably eaten tomatillias. That’s the green salsa. Until this summer, that’s been the extent of my knowledge about the tomatillia.

They are a vegetable fruit – basically a member of the nightshade family, like the tomato. (Other nightshade members are eggplant, peppers and . They often have a little elf cap on their stem.) When they grow, they’ve got a husk surrounding the fruit.

It’s been quite fun growing them in the garden, because they are little different.

Some of the husk layers on this plant have turned purple-ish which reminds me that this is a cousin of the eggplant.

The plants like to grow leggy like tomato plants, so staking them or using tomato cages tends to help the plants from drooping and the fruit laying on the ground.

Each tomatillia is covered with a thin skin layer, a husk. It didn’t remind me of corn because there isn’t any silk.

You know when they are ripe because the fruit inside the skin is as large as the skin. Usually the husk begins to darken as well. There are different varieties. We have the green tomatillias but I understand that there are some that are purpleish also.

Tomatillias under the skin
You can see the fruit of this vegetable underneath of the husk. The husk should be more tan, so this one isn’t quite ripe.

One of my favorite ways to eat them are chopped up and tossed in a salad like the photo below, with tomatoes, cucumbers, chopped onion and avocado. I’ve enjoyed this veggie salad with tomatillias several times this summer.tomatillias salad

Besides eating them in a salsa or salad, I understant that the tomatillia is great in a chilim too.

Here’s one of my favorite salsa recipes:

I chop up the veggies and throw them into the vita mix. If you don’t have a vita mix, then you may want to continue chopping until the pieces are very small, like diced or minced.

Chop up:

  • 3 large tomatoes
  • 3 medium green peppers
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 medium tomatillias
  • fresh cilantro
  • parsley

Add to this:

  • small clove of garlic
  • add a little salt
  • dash of lime juice

Put into your Vitamix or blender and pulse it until it gets to the consistency you like. Serve!

Do you enjoy tomatillios? How do you prepare them. Leave a comment below or send an email to Thanks!


2 thoughts on “Tomatillias – a New Vegetable for Me”

  1. Hi Jill-
    Yes you definitely remove the husk and eat the fruit from the inside. Think of it like corn that has a husk on the outside when you pick it.

    They’re definitely a different kind of vegetable. We’ve had a huge crop in our garden this summer.

  2. This is probably embarrassing. I’ve had tomatillas before but have never used them myself. I’ve only had things that others have prepared with tomatillas. Do you have to remove the husk before making the salsa?

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