Picking the Right Tomatillos to Store
Although similar to tomatoes, the tomatillo fruit ripens differently; you cannot rely on the color changing to tell if the fruit is mature. Most tomatillos are green at maturity, so do not wait for them to turn another color!
Instead, look for other signs of ripeness. A ripe tomatillo will fill the papery husk entirely, and in many cases, the hull itself will burst open. This is a sure sign that the fruit is ripe.
Tip: If the husk is brownish and the fruit has filled it, it is also ripe. The hull will not always burst.
If you have used all the fresh tomatillos you can and are still overrun with the fruits, you need to know how to store the surplus. Freezing them is one of the easiest ways to guarantee a fresh taste after the season is over.
To freeze your tomatillos, just follow these steps:
- Pick the ripe tomatillos and remove the husk.
- Wash the tomatillos with warm water to remove the sticky residue from the fruits.
- Dry the fruit and place on a baking sheet.
- Freeze until solid, usually 2-3 hours.
- Place the frozen fruit in a freezer bag and remove as much air as possible.
- Store the bag in the freezer for up to six months.
Tip: You can also slice tomatillos before freezing them. Follow the same steps as above but slice the tomatillos before placing them on the baking sheet.
Using Frozen Tomatillos
Whether you freeze the tomatillos whole or in slices, you can use them the same way you use fresh ones. If you are using them in a salsa dish, you may want to thaw them before blending with the other ingredients. For soups or other hot dishes, thawing is not necessary. Just toss them in the pot and let them cook with the other ingredients.
If you plant extra tomatillos to store for future use, you should be aware that the texture is different from being frozen. Frozen tomatillos are best for using in soups and sauces rather than in recipes where the difference is noticeable. If the softer feel is not bothersome to you, feel free to use the frozen tomatillos in salsas and other favorite recipes!