Tomatillos Milperos


If you grow tomatillos (tomates  verdes, Physalis ixocarpa) once, you’ll probably have them for life. If only one of the fruits falls to the ground, your future will most likely include tomatillos. Mine are a mix of plants from the nursery, seed companies and even trips to Mexico. They tend to be smaller, sweeter and mostly purple when fully ripe. A milpero is a cornfield and it’s common to find the tomatillos among the cornstalks.


The plants look a lot like Deadly Nightshade and they are in the same family (as are tomatoes) so when you’re doing early weeding, don’t get too vigorous. If you leave the plants to grow, you’ll see the familiar yellow “paper lanterns” that will eventually fill with the delicious fruits, sometimes even bursting at the seams.


To make  a salsa, place a bunch of tomatillos in their wrappers on a hot dry skillet or comal. Add a thick slice of white onion, a serrano pepper, two cloves of garlic (in their paper skins) and roast until the tomatillos are hissing and soft and the onion charred. Place in a food processor with some lime, salt and chopped cilantro. Chop well and serve.


5 Comments on Tomatillos Milperos

  1. you do peel the tomatillos and garlic after toasting / before blending, ?no?

  2. Oops! Thank you. Yes, once they cool down you peel the husks/skins than add them to the food processor.

  3. I was wondering about the peeling too. those tomatillos are fantastic. I find solanums to be a great thing to write about, there are so many species in there that are either deadly or mass produced crop. its a fine line.

  4. Steve check out my site, I gave your pulses a shout out and took some pictures of them too.

  5. Thanks. What a beautiful website! And that shot of the scarlet runners is a “WOW”! If you get a chance, check out Patricia Quintana’s new book on moles called “Mulli”. The photography is a lot like yours; clean, modern but not sterile.
    Be sure and say hi at the farmers market so I know who you are!

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