If you love green salsa, then you should get to know tomatillos. Dating back to 800 B.C., when the Aztecs domesticated them, tomatillos are considered a key ingredient in Latin-American cooking. Also called “tomate verde” in Mexico, the fruit of the tomatillo is generally firm, green, about the size of a large cherry, and meatier than a tomato. They grow to maturity inside a light brown, papery husk. The husk is a good indicator of freshness, but is inedible and should be removed before use.

The fruit of the tomatillo can be used as a base for chili sauces, known generically as salsa verde (green sauce), and will help lessen the pepper’s hot flavor as well as stimulate the appetite. Because of their tart quality, tomatillos can be cooked, eaten raw, minced or pureed to accompany prepared dishes. Tomatillo’s also makes a great addition to tortilla soup or guacamole.

In Season

June, July, August, September, October, November

Recipes with Tomatillos

Chorizo Scramble with Tomatillo Crème Fraîche

Scott Youkilis, Hog & Rocks and Maverick

Smoked Salsa de Chile de Cascabel

Soul Cocina

Guajillo Braised Beef Short Rib Tacos with Avocado-Tomatillo Salsa

Joe Hargrave and Antelmo Faria, Tacolicious.

Autumn Vegetable Melange

Jill Nussinow, MS, RD, The Veggie Queen™.


CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to cultivating a sustainable food system through the operation of the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and its educational programs. Learn More »