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In Season: Tomatillos

Whether you're a CSA devotee, a farmers' market weekender or consider ketchup a veg, we'll bring you fresh inspiration for how to prepare our local produce.

This week's harvest: Tomatillos

If you're not used to cooking with them, tomatillos can be the black sheep of summer produce -- so misunderstood, so under appreciated. I want to spend a little time sharing my love and excitement for tomatillos. Just about always, tomatillos have a certain destiny that ends in a blender or molcajete to be pulverized into a traditional salsa verde. However there are a few other recipes that you can use to bring out the very best of these nightshades that come to the party dressed in their own jackets.

Tomatillos are not green tomatoes. They are not inherently spicy. They are green, and sometimes purple. They are tart and a little sweet and lend themselves very well to smooth soups and chunky salsas. Here are a few creative variations to whip up while they're in season.

​When are tomatillos in season? June through October.

Selecting, storage and preparation tips:
Select firm tomatillos that have filled into their papery husks.

To remove the husk, simply pull it off. There's no need to peel the fruit. If you're having trouble peeling off the husk and it wants to stick to the sticky fruit, just take it to the sink and run it under water as you peel off the rest of the husk using a bit of fingernail effort to get it completely clean.

After cleaning, you can dry them off completely and keep them for about 2 weeks in the fridge loosely wrapped in plastic. Or simply use them in any of the following preparations.

Recipes:

Jennifer Woods is a local food advocate with over 10 years working in the AZ food industry, and currently works for Crooked Sky Farms, a CSA produce farm based in South Phoenix.

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