Tomatillo Sauce

Tomatillo Sauce

This is what I made with the tomatillos from yesterday’s Silent
Sunday photo!

Those familiar with Mexican cooking probably already know or have heard of tomatillos. They are a staple in Mexican cooking and like
tomatoes belong to the nightshade family.


With its tart citrusy flavour, green-yellow fruit and papery husk of the same colour, the tomatillo (physalis philadelphica) looks like a large cape gooseberry to which it is more closely related than

Also known as Husk Tomato or Mexican Husk Tomato in Mexico they can be called ‘tomato verde’ or green tomato, which probably explains why they are sometimes called green tomatoes here. Like tomatoes, tomatillos are a summer fruit and here in Hawke’s Bay are grown by Clyde Potter of The Chef’s Garden @ Epicurean, look for them on their stall at the Hawke’s Bay Farmers’ Market.

Bright green and smooth, this piquant cooked sauce or salsa can be used in many ways. Delicious as a dip for corn chips, spooned over tacos or as a cooking sauce for fish, chicken, shredded meat,
vegetables or eggs, it is a great summer addition to any meal.

On this occasion I used it as a cooking sauce for chicken, after browning the chicken in a pan the cooked sauce was poured over, then bought back to simmering and simmered until the chicken was cooked.

Tomatillo Sauce

This sauce will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Canned tomatillos are also available from speciality food shops and could be used to make this sauce. If using canned tomatillos, omit the first step of the recipe and add the garlic and chilli in step two.

Makes about 2 cups

500g tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed
1 garlic clove
1 jalapeño chilli
1 small onion, chopped
1 bunch coriander, top leaves and stems
sea salt
1 tbsp olive oil

1              Place tomatillos, garlic and chilli in a medium saucepan and pour over water to cover. Place over a medium-high heat, bring to simmering and simmer for about 10 minutes until tomatillos change from bright to pale green and are tender, but not falling apart.

2              Using a slotted spoon, transfer tomatillos, garlic and chilli to food processor, add onion and coriander and process until smooth. Season with salt.

3              Heat oil in a medium saucepan over a medium heat, pour in pureed mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, for 6-8 minutes or until sauce reduces and thickens.

Where did the ingredients for this dish come from:
Tomatillos: The Chef’s Garden @ Epicurean – Hastings; Onion,
Krismaw Gardens – Hastings; Chilli: Orcona Chillis ‘n
– Hastings; Coriander: JJ Organics – Napier; Olive oil: The Village Press – Hastings; Store Cupboard Ingredients: sea salt.

Note: Many of these producers can be found at the Napier Urban Food Market each Saturday morning and/or at the Hawke’s Bay Farmers’
Market each Sunday morning

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore

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6 thoughts on “Tomatillo Sauce”

  1. I have never seen tomatillos before! I wonder if they are available in Western Australia? If not…guessing I should get the green thumb hubby to try and grow some. (There is no way I would ever have success I have a “black thumb” lol)
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