The tomatillo fruit is a cousin to the tomato. The fruit appears similar to a tomato except for two differences--the color of the tomatillo is bright green, yellow or purple, and the fruit is covered in a paper-thin husk. As the fruit matures it expands from the husk. The tomatillo often is used when making green salsa and in a variety of Mexican dishes. Tomatillos are nutritious; they contain 7 percent Vitamin C and 4 percent Vitamin K. Proper storage of the tomatillo ensures the fruit can be used several weeks after harvesting.
Remove tomatillos from the branch when the fruit expands out of the husk. The husk will form first, and then the tomatillo will fill it. Look inside the husk, from the bottom, to see how large the tomatillo is if it has not expanded out of the husk.
Tomatillos can be stored in dry, cool places, such as a kitchen countertop, if being used within several days. Refrigeration and freezing are recommended for longer preservation of the fruit.
Determine whether you will want refrigerate or freeze the tomatillos. Refrigeration means the fruit must be consumed within two to three weeks. Freezing the fruit allows the fruit to be preserved for 10 to 12 months.
Refrigerate tomatillos with husks using a paper bag, suggests Still Tasty, a website devoted to the shelf life of food. The paper bag will absorb any additional moisture contained within the husk. If tomatillos have the husks removed, place them in a plastic bag. Husks can be difficult to remove. Place the tomatillos in a bowl of warm water to loosen the husks. Refrigerator temperatures should be between 35 and 40 degrees.
Remove the husks from the tomatillos by hand if freezing. Place the vegetable in an airtight container or in a freezer bag. Tomatillos can also be boiled, pureed and roasted prior to freezing, as well as freezing raw. Ensure freezer temperatures are zero degrees or below.
Things You Will Need
- Brown paper bag
- Plastic bag
- Freezer bag
- The Spanish word for tomatillos is tomates verdes, or "green tomato."
- The Aztecs domesticated the tomatillo nearly 3,000 years ago, according to Chefs Best, a cooking website.
- According to Nutrition Data, a food and nutrition website, many of the tomatillo's calories come from sugar.
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