One of the things we are so fortunate to experience when participating with a CSA is being exposed to new things. This week, let’s look at tomatillos!
They are versatile, & lovely. Broad Wing’s varieties feature Green & Purple Blushed which are so pretty to simply display in a basket on your counter for a day or two.
Tomatillos are a member of the Nightshade family, such as eggplants & peppers. They partner nicely with their relatives, & when you keep this in mind, your ideas for using them will expand.
Tomatillos take a little work to process, but are worth it in the end. I’ll walk you through the easiest way to work with them, & you’ll find some recipes on the next following pages.
What you will need:
· A large pot that can hold enough water to cover the tomatillos you want to prepare.
· A large bowl that can hold enough volume to cover (with water) the tomatillos you want to prepare, & A LOT of ice.
Make ready your pot with water (leave enough room at the top to add your tomatillos), & your bowl with ice. Have your chosen strainer ready.
Bring the water in your pot to a vigorous boil. When water is boiling, pour very cold water into your bowl of ice.
Carefully add your tomatillos to the boiling water. Allow them to sit in the hot water for 15 seconds MAX, & immediately remove from the hot water & immerse them in the ice water (ice bath).
Once chilled, you will find the husk or outer ‘paper’ of the tomatillo will pull off easily, leaving it nice & clean; ready to use as you see fit!
SALSA VERDEUses from Broad Wing Farm Share(s): Tomatillos, Tomatoes, Garlic
Shopping List: 2 medium yellow onions, 1 jalapeno*, 3 chilis poblano’s, 1 bunch cilantro, 3-4 Limes for juice, Kosher Salt
Special Equipment: Very Hot Grill, Strong Blender or Food Processor
Special Note: This is a very basic salsa verde recipe! You can add more spice by increasing your *jalapeno count, adding chipotle chilis, or even serrano chilis. This can be used on taco’s, over eggs, or just chips & salsa!
You do not have to char the vegetables before using them, you can roast in the oven instead, & just follow the same processes as listed. Will hold for about 1 week in the refrigerator, & gets better with time.IngredientsAll Tomatillo’s | husks removed (as detailed in this week’s special note’s)All Tomatoes |4 cloves garlic | trimmed (put in your freezer bag)2 medium yellow onions | trimmed, (put tops in your freezer bag), peels removed, onion cut into quarters1 jalapeno | any stem trimmed to base3 chilis poblanos | any stem trimmed to base1 bunch cilantro | leaves plucked from stems; stems discardedExtra Virgin Olive OilKosher Salt, Black Pepper to taste
DirectionsHeat Grill. If you have a vegetable grill pan, use this for the smaller vegetables that might fall through the grates of the grill. If you don’t, simply skewer the smaller veggies, or place a small baking sheet directly on the grill.
Prepare: Toss tomatillos, tomatoes, onions, garlic cloves, & peppers in a light coating of olive oil. Wrap garlic cloves in an aluminum foil square packet, folding up at the bottoms, then either side, then the top. Place everything on a heat proof tray appropriate for standing beside the grill.
When grill is very hot, start with your largest ingredients at the hottest point, smaller items on the outer, cooler sides of the grill. Foil pouch with garlic should be placed on a medium hot area, the folded seams facing up.
Allow everything to blacken & char (not burn). Flare ups will happen if there is too much oil, & items will steam if the grill isn’t hot enough. Adjust your process accordingly.
As skins begin to char, the tomatoes & tomatillos might blow a fuse, as the juices get hot & bubble internally. Immediately pull them off the grill when they do, even if they aren’t charred yet. The higher the sugar content, the quicker the ingredient will char, so you will want to remain at the grill during this process, turning your items & removing back on to the tray before they burn. Garlic pouch will be the last item to be pulled off the grill.
Put all ingredients (except limes for juice), in a powerful blender or food processor…this includes blackened skins, tomato cores, pepper seeds, etc! Carefully blend hot ingredients until they come out smooth. You will have to work in batches, pouring blended ingredients into a large mixing bowl as you go. When everything is processed, put 2 cups of blended ingredients back into processor with a healthy tbsp of Kosher Salt, & the juice of 2 limes. Process, & return mixture to bowl, whisking everything together. Allow to stand for 2 minutes. Taste by using a teaspoon, & adjust seasoning as needed by processing 2 more cups; add black pepper if you prefer it, more lime if it needs acid, more salt if it’s bland. Refrigerate until chilled, then use in any desired salsa application. If the liquids separate, simply mix together again before serving.
PRO TIP: Don’t be afraid to add to this! Be creative! Blend in toasted Cumin, a couple chipotle chilis in adobo, & a small handful of toasted pumpkin seeds, this salsa will come to life even more for you.
Cucumber Tomatillo GazpachoUses from Broad Wing Farm Share(s): Tomatillos, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Garlic, Squash, Sweet Potato Greens, U Pick at Broad Wing (bring your scissors! ): Parsley, Basil
Shopping List: 1 large yellow onion, 1 qt vegetable or chicken broth, maple syrup, small container whole Greek yogurt, 1-2 limes for juice, Optional condiments, YOU decide! Marcona Almonds, (pitted) Kalmata Olives, Chili flake, Lemon infused Olive Oil, your favorite croutons (or a stale chunk of bread), cooked Butter Beans, (or marinated white cannellini’s) Special Equipment: Strong Blender or Food Processor
IngredientsAll Tomatillo’s | husks removed (as detailed in this week’s special note’s) then chilled to cold (removing husks the night before is OK), cores removed (put in your freezer bag!), DICEDTomatoes | large slicer tomato, core removed (put in your freezer bag!), DICED. Smaller salad tomatoes cut in half or quarters & set aside separately2 cloves garlic | trimmed (put in your freezer bag), chopped fine1 large yellow onion | trimmed, (put tops in your freezer bag), peels removed, diced1 large squash (or 2 med.) | trimmed (put in your freezer bag), dicedAll Sweet Potato Greens | stems trimmed, cut into 1” lengths, greens cut into large bite sized pieces4-6 Cucumbers, peeled, seeded, chopped | trim ends & peel cucumber. Cut in half lengthwise & remove seeds by running a small spoon down the center. Discard seeds.Lime Juice | 2 tbspMaple Syrup | 1 tspWhole Greek Yogurt | ¼ cup1 qt vegetable or chicken broth |½ cup (packed) chopped fresh Parsley leaves | stems in your freezer bag¼ cup chopped fresh Basil leaves | discard stemsExtra Virgin Olive OilSalt, Black Pepper Directions: Prepare ahead allowing enough time for the liquids to chill cool-cold!In a large heavy bottom skillet, over medium high heat, heat 2 tbsp olive oil until it shimmers. Add diced onions & allow to brown/turn translucent. Add chopped garlic, sweet potato green STEMS, & diced tomatillos, diced tomato, salt & pepper. Allow to simmer & cook about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat & put in food processor or blender.
Return pan to heat, add another 2 tbsp of olive oil & heat until oil shimmers. Add squash & allow to brown on one side. Add salt & pepper, & carefully remove squash with a slotted spoon. Put squash on a paper towel, allow to remain at room temp.
Return pan to heat. Add all Sweet Potato GREENS & a splash (1/4 cup or so) of broth. Allow to simmer & wilt. Remove pan from heat, sprinkle with salt & pepper & set aside & allow to remain at room temp.
In food processor, (working in batches if you need to) with your tomatillo mixture, add diced cucumbers, lime juice, & maple syrup. Blend until smooth, adding a splash of broth if you need more liquid. When smooth, add yogurt & chopped parsley. Blend again until very verys smooth & creamy. Taste & adjust seasonings; add more yogurt or maple syrup if needed. Refrigerate in a shallow container uncovered until cool-cold, mixing every now & then to encourage even cooling.
When ready to serve, gather all your optional condiments.
In a large mixing bowl, pour chilled soup. With a wooden spoon, gently mix in cooked squash cubes & sweet potato greens (with cooking liquid). Taste again! Things taste differently when cold, more salt, pepper, or even a squeeze of lime juice might be necessary. When thoroughly mixed, ladle into wide rimmed serving bowls.
Top with optional condiments as follows (per bowl):
Small pinch of chili flakes on top, drizzle of lemon olive oil, 1-2 halved or quartered tomato, 2 kalamata olives cut in half, 3-4 coarsely chopped Marcona Almonds, small spoonful of cooked (or marinated) white beans, a large crouton or 2, & a healthy sprinkle of chopped fresh basil. Enjoy immediately!
Berry Tomatillo Jam
Uses from Broad Wing Farm Share: Tomatillos
Shopping List: 2 pints of blueberries, blackberries, and/or raspberries to every 4 large tomatillos, 2 lemons for juice
Special Equipment: Food Processor or Blender
4-8 large tomatillos | Husks removed (see my notes on this week’s featured ingredient) & discarded, core removed & put in your freezer bag. Cut tomatillo’s into quarters2-4 pints of your chosen berries | Directions
Put your tomatillos & berries in a blender & mix on high until 100% blended. Measure this liquid:
Sugar of your choice | Measure out an equal amount of sugar to the amount of your blended liquidPut both in a heavy bottomed pan, & heat over low heat, stirring as it begins to simmer. When simmering has begun, squeeze in the juice of one lemon & continue to stir, allowing the mixture to come to come to a rolling boil for 1 minute. Stir continuously while it is boiling! Then reduce heat again to a simmer & cook for 15-20 more minutes, stirring regularly. You will notice the jam thickening*. Remove from heat & taste. If you prefer it, add more lemon juice. You can also add lemon zest if you like!
*Note that when the mixture becomes cold, it will become even thicker, so do not allow for it to simmer longer than the recommended 20 minutes.
Refrigerate, will hold for about 1 ½ weeks. This can be re-heated & used as a warm sauce for ice cream or cheesecake, also delicious on pork!
Pro Tip: If you do not like berry seeds, after completing the 1st blending step, pour the liquid through a fine mesh strainer. It will take some time, but the seeds will separate from the liquid with the occasional encouraging push of a wooden spoon or spatula. You can also add a splash of water to help the process along. Discard the seeds, & heat mixture in pan with sugar as detailed.