Guacamole with tomatillos. Recipe and photo courtesy QVC.
Plan for Cinco de Mayo with this all-green guacamole recipe, which replaces the red tomatoes with green tomatillos.
RECIPE: TOMATILLO GUACAMOLE
4 large tomatillos, peeled, halved, and chopped
3 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted, and quartered
1-1/3 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro, stems removed
4 jalapeños, seeded and halved
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1-1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Tortilla chips and/or crudités
1. Place the diced tomatillos, avocados, cilantro, jalapeños, garlic, salt, pepper, and lime juice into a food processor, in the order listed. Mix until all ingredients are fully combined and the guacamole is smooth and creamy. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
2. To keep the guacamole from browning until you’re ready to serve it, tamp plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent air from oxidizing the avocado.
Tomatillos are not little green tomatoes. They are in the same botanical family, but a different species. Here’s the scoop:
The tomato is an edible red berry*, although some varieties grow in colors that range from brown to green (when ripe), orange, purple-black, purple-blue, white and yellow (see photo below and learn more about tomato colors).
Originally tiny in size (like the grape tomato), it was cultivated over centuries to its current “beefsteak” heft.
Its botanical family is Solanaceae (the Nightshade family, which includes potatoes and eggplant), species/genus Solanum lycopersicum.
The plant is native to Central and South America, from Mexico to Peru.
It’s an annual plant with a woody stem that typically grows to 3 to 10 feet in height.
Tomatillos (top) and their cousins, cherry tomatoes. Photo courtesy The Chef’s Garden.
The tomatillo is also an edible berry. Small and spherical, it is [erroneously] called a green tomato; and also a husk tomato, a Mexican tomato and other names. But it’s a distant cousin to the tomato. Instead, it is closely related to the cape gooseberry.
Like the orange-colored gooseberry, the tomatillo is surrounded by a papery husk. The ripe fruit can be green, purple, red or yellow.
The tomatillo’s botanical family is also Solanaceae, but it belongs to a completely different species from the tomato, Physalis. Its botanical name is Physalis ixocarpa.
Native to Central America, the tomatillo was a staple of Maya and Aztec cuisine.
The tomatillo is also an annual plant, with a semi-woody stem that can grow to a height of 4 to 5 feet. However, it usually grows low to the ground and spreads out instead of up.