Tomatillos….Not Green Tomatoes

Tomatillos are not green tomatoes. Let me say that again, tomatillos are not green tomatoes.

It is a fairly common misconception but besides being the same shape and color, they are different in so many ways. I say that, but other than botanically (tomatillo is from the gooseberry line and tomatoes are from nightshade), I have used them in similar ways, like the salsa below.

Grilled Pork Chops with Tomatillo Salsa

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This is an all-star dish with top-notch flavors.

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Beautiful looking pork.

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Tomatillos come with a leafy wrapper. Between the wrapper and the fruit is a sticky substance. The best way to remove the outer layer is to run it under water. The leaves come off and the sticky residue easily washes off.

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Roasting the garlic, jalapeños and tomatillos.

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Roasting brings out so much flavor.

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The little charred bits show up so well in the salsa.

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Look at that beautiful cross hatch.

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Oh man. I think I needs to make these again…right now!

Grilled Pork Chops with Tomatillo Salsa

Servings: 6 servings


12 tomatillos* (about 1 pound), husked, rinsed
4 garlic cloves, peeled
2 jalapeño chiles
2/3 cup finely chopped white onion
2/3 cup (lightly packed) chopped fresh cilantro
6 (1 1/4-inch-thick) pork rib chops (14 ounces each with bone)
1 garlic clove, peeled, halved
Coarse kosher salt
Extra-virgin olive oil (for brushing)
12 corn or flour tortillas
*Tomatillos are available at some supermarkets and at Latin markets. They have papery husks that should be removed before cooking. It’s easiest to do this under running water so that you can rinse the fruit to remove the sticky coating.


Preheat broiler. Place tomatillos, 4 whole garlic cloves, and jalapeños on rimmed baking sheet. Broil until tender and vegetables are slightly charred, turning occasionally, about 7 minutes for garlic and 8 minutes for tomatillos and jalapeños. Transfer to plate and let stand until cool enough to handle. Stem and seed jalapeños. Place tomatillos, garlic, jalapeños, onion, and cilantro in processor. Puree until almost smooth. Season tomatillo salsa with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD Salsa can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Return salsa to room temperature before serving.

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Rub both sides of pork chops with halved garlic clove. Sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper; brush with oil. Grill until just cooked through, about 8 minutes per side. Transfer chops to plate; let rest 10 minutes. Grill tortillas until slightly charred, about 1 minute per side. Serve chops with tortillas and salsa.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Grilled, Low Carb, Main Dish 3, Pork2, Recipes, Vegetable4

Author:The Ranting Chef

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11 Comments on “Tomatillos….Not Green Tomatoes”

  1. August 14, 2014 at 11:03 am #

    would you use them in a salad?


  2. August 14, 2014 at 11:16 am #

    I like to roast my vegetables on the grill with some wood chips to add a nice smoky flavor to the salsa.


  3. August 14, 2014 at 1:40 pm #

    I saw tomatillos at the farmers market last weekend, maybe I’ll have to pick some up and try this Anything with roasted garlic and jalapeños looks good to me. Thanks!


  4. August 14, 2014 at 2:25 pm #

    I’ve used them a few times and loved them every which way 🙂


  5. August 15, 2014 at 3:22 pm #

    Tomatillos are ripening in our neighborhood here in Seattle. Looking forward to using them. They’re also good roasted and squeezed over fish, instead of lemon.


  6. August 18, 2014 at 11:21 pm #

    Learned lots from this post…thank you. and a little bow before I go to do some chef-ing up.


  7. September 5, 2014 at 4:57 am #

    thanks for the info will try them next chance I get .


  8. September 27, 2014 at 6:36 am #

    Very creative!


  9. Lindyloo
    March 20, 2016 at 5:36 pm #

    I just tried them fried and they were delicious. Dip in egg white, roll in cornmeal and fry thick slices in oil. I had a bit of sour cream on the side.



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