Summer is coming, and it’s bringing these tomatillos, a.k.a my Mystery Shopper ingredient for the June issue of Feast. Let’s get to it.
This Month’s Mystery Ingredient: Tomatillos
Also Goes By: Tomate Verde, Husk Tomato, Mexican Husk Tomato, Husk Cherry, Jamberry, Ground Cherry. They are not American green tomatoes, just so you know.
Hails from: Mexico, but grown all over the Western Hemisphere
Recipe: Savory Tomatillo Crumble
Find it: Tomatillos are sort of everywhere, right? At least in the United States, during spring and summer, even on into the fall. If you don’t see them, ask your grocer: typically they’ll start coming in small numbers which increase as the summer soldiers on. I’ve seen them everywhere recently: from my local grocery, to farmers’ markets, to big box stores that carry grocery items. Latin or international markets are always a good place to find them, but right now, you shouldn’t have to search too hard.
Uses: The world is your tomatillo, really: use them all over the place. You can grill them (brushed with a little oil), bake them (as I did in this crumble), or eat them raw in salsa or salads. I’ll be spending the summer making salsas with them because you can’t get a fresher, snappy taste anywhere. I love them. They’d be great as an alternative to traditionally tomato bruschetta right now because their flavor is pure summer.
Do whatever with them: sometimes I just slice and eat. Make sure you get that husk off and rinse them well to wash the sticky coating off, and after that? Enjoy. Make the most of your time with these, because they’ll go back into hiding around the time kids head back to school this fall.
I love this crumble: it’s based on a tomato gratin thing I’ve made for years now – a pretty straightforward one involving plum tomatoes, basil, parm, and bread cubes. I love that one, but this one is special. Tomatillos don’t get as smushy as tomatoes when baked, and their sweet-tartness really shines through in this application. The crumble on top is not to be missed, either: let it get brown and don’t be scared: it’s the perfect crispy blanket to the almost pillowy-soft tomatillos and tomatoes underneath.
Some things that caught my eye this month in the magazine:
A little history of the margarita, plus recipe. I’ll be having
some many all of those this summer. Also, that green-tinted glass juicer and this whole photo here are beautiful: nice job, Jonathan, because that’s one gorgeous photo of a drink.
Bethany, who spends much of her time finding mistakes in my work (in a helpful, great way) reminds me that I need to get the Moosewood Cookbook. I mean, it’s only been out since before I was born, so I feel like it’s time.
I think it’s clear by now that I can’t keep my hands off a mediterranean salad.
Someone take me to visit this chicken farm. Immediately. Photographed by Jennifer, who can capture an animal face like none other. Someday I’m going to collect all her animal photos and hang them in my kitchen. Dead serious. You should see this one sheep photo…I digress.
You know what? Every single feature in this issue is more interesting than I could ever pull off. Just go read; it’s gorgeous and breathtaking and I’m totally lame by comparison. Go read.
All I want to do sometimes is own a farm and be amazing; that’s what this issue makes me want to do. Or just be amazing with lots of vegetables. Maybe a few chickens and sheep. Cows are big and I’m not sure I could handle all that. Alpacas, maybe.
Anyway, you want to get in the mood for summer? Grab the magazine if you’re local. if you’re not, see it as I see it by clicking over to the digital issue, or read this month’s stories online. Also, that TV show, tho.