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'Gift-wrapped' tomatillos


All produce comes wrapped in a natural covering, but not many are gift-wrapped by Mother Nature like Chinese lantern plants. One specimen is the tomatillo, popular in Mexican cooking for salsas. It is encased in dry, parchment-colored skin.

When cooked, tomatillos have an herbal, lemony flavor; raw, they have a more acidic taste.

You must remove the papery skin before using tomatillos. Peel off the outer layer, then wash them thoroughly.

Be sure to remove any stems or sticky material on the produce.

Chop up tomatillos and use them in salads, stir-frys or for texture in Mexican favorites such as gazpacho. Raw or cooked, they also make a good base for sauces.

Tomatillos are a good source of vitamins A, C and niacin. About 100 calories are in a cup of the flesh.

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