We were introduced to this fine specimen of a well, umm, fruit, or perhaps it is a vegetable by our Ecuadorian friend, Eloisa. We are very lucky to have good friends from South America who pop round with fresh empanadas, arepas and a variety of chillies that I have never heard of but are apparently, so I’m informed, essential for particular dishes. I always appreciate Eloisa’s honesty and love of food. I remember being taken off arepas-making duties amidst hysterical laughter – English novice versus Ecuadorian pride and expertise – no contest!
Tomatillo or Tamarillo can be found in the Andes region of Latin America so Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia and Chile. They can be sweet as well as having a bitter taste and are often used in sauces and soups in Ecuador. Eaten raw they taste somewhere between a tomato and a passion fruit. To be honest I wasn’t sure what to do with them.
They sat in the fruit bowl for a few days winking at me so not one to wimp out at a challenge; I decided to make Ecuadorian Tomatillo Salsa to accompany grilled chicken and spicy rice.
3 tomatillo (can buy in Waitrose)
1 fresh red chilli
1 handful of fresh coriander
1 spring onion
juice of 1 lemon or lime
Blanch the tomatillo for about a minute in hot water, then once they are cool enough to handle, peel the fruit with a sharp knife.
Put into a food processor with all the other ingredients, blitz into a chunky chutney consistency. Add fresh coriander.
Serve chilled with grilled meat dishes.
I have never used yellow or ppulre tomatillas but have used yellow tomatoes and found that they have less flavor and inferior texture to red or ppulre. Since tomatillas and tomatoes are used in basically they same way I would use the yellow mostly to add color in a dish that combines several different types. I love the green tomatillas for pasta sauce so I assume any color might be used in this way as well.
that is a picture of a tamarillo, not a tamatillo – (understandable mistake/typo)