Have you discovered tomatillos yet? I absolutely love them! Unfortunately they are still very hard to find here in the UK but they are worth searching for. Luckily Riverford, who deliver my organic veg boxes, have been supplying them (when in season) for 2 years running. You can even buy a salsa verde kit from their website. Occasionally tomatillos are available in our local Mexican shop Otomi. Failing that, they carry jars of tomatillo salsa verde, these are a good start for a tomatillo novice.

Why do I love tomatillos? First and foremost it’s the flavour! They are tangy, zingy and fresh tasting. On top of being delicious they are very good for you. Tomatillos contain phytonutrients withanolides that have been found to have anti-bacterial and anti-cancer properties. They are a good source of vitamin C, E and carotenoids such as betacarotene, lutein, zeaxanthin. Tomatillos also contain host of minerals such as potassium, copper, iron, phosphorus and manganese. Not bad for something that looks like an unripe tomato...

close cousins - tomatillos and tomatoes

So far I have only used these Mexican gems in a salsa, but I was ready to expand my tomatillo horizon. Soup seemed like a good start for experimentation. Paired with tomatoes (who are their close cousins) and chillies I was sure (ish) to be onto a winner. I must say I was very pleased with the results. The downside was I only managed to make one lunch portion of soup...However thought this amount would be perfect for the very fashionable dinner party amuse-bouche. Served in shot glasses with a nice coriander leaf and a slice of lime perched on the rim of the glass this would make a very impressive pre-appetizer. Flavour explosion guaranteed! So you can either eat the whole lot yourself (like I greedily did) or you can wow your guests. Whichever way you go... Enjoy!

the finished product


Serves 1 greedy person for lunch, 6-8 as an amuse-bouche in shot glasses

200g (7 oz) tomatillos
150g (5 oz) tomatoes
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
1 cup of well flavoured vegetable stock
coriander leaves for garnish

roasted tomatoes and tomatillos

  1. Peel the papery husk of the tomatillos (this is a sticky job), wash well.
  2. Line a baking dish with aluminium foil in a way that it will catch all runaway juices. This will also prevent the tomatillos and tomatoes from sticking to the bottom of your pan.
  3. Roast the tomatillos and tomatoes in a 200C oven for 20 minuter or until they start to blister and split (see photo).
  4. In a medium sauce pan heat 60ml of water, add the onions, garlic and chilli and saute for 5 min or till softened. Add more water if needed.
  5. Next add the tomatillos and tomatoes with all their juices.
  6. Add the vegetable stock and cook covered for about 10minutes.
  7. Blend in a food processor or using a stick blender.
  8. Garnish with coriander leaves.



Some people get excited by the latest gadgets on the market or the latest Twilight saga movie. I get excited by food. I have been known to jump with excitement in ethnic food shops when I stumbled upon a tin of full medames or a pack of green tea noodles. I know my husband is dreading that my meeting with a friend tomorrow is in a cafe adjacent to a health food shop. He knows I shall return with yet another interesting ingredient (or two or three...).

No surprise that I nearly bursted with excitement when I found out Riverford was now offering a tomatillo salsa kit with their veg box delivery. The first time I had tomatillo salsa was in a restaurant in the USA and fell in love with it. Some tastes are hard to forget. Couple years ago I discovered a fantastic local Mexican shop Otomi where I buy my jars of tomatillo salsa. They do taste great but tend to contain a bit too much salt. Now armed with fresh tomatillos I finally have the opportunity to make my own.


My tomatillo kit arrived yesterday, there were tomatillos (of course), fresh coriander, red onions, garlic, green chillies and a lovely juicy lime. There is nothing more satisfying than having a bowl of beautiful tangy spiciness ready to be used as a dip or sauce after just minutes of preparation. Tonight we used the salsa on top of some refried bean tacos and I am already excited about finishing the rest tomorrow. Avocado wrap with tomatillo salsa sounds just divine. Or dip for some homemade tortilla chips? Black bean burgers? How about tofu scramble? Or I may just have to take my spoon to it....Yum.

Somehow I think I should order another tomatillo kit for next week....


Makes about 2 cups

400g (just under a pound) of tomatillos
1 medium (I had 2 small) red onion
1 -2 green chillies (serrano or jalapenos are great)
squeeze of lime
a bunch of coriander (cilantro)


  1. First remove the papery outer skins from the tomatillos. Wash the tomatillos.
  2. Pierce each tomatillo with a tip of your knife and put them on a aluminium foil lined baking tray.
  3. Place the tomatillos under a grill (broiler), grill about 2 min, turn over and grill for another 2-3 min. The skin will start blistering and tomatillos should soften. Take care not to burn them. Let the tomatillos cool down.
  4. In a food processor chop the onion and the seeded chilli (chillies) pepper.
  5. Next add the tomatillos, coriander and a squeeze of lime (to taste). Season with salt if you wish.
  6. Serve at room temperature