Sunday, August 24, 2008

Tomatillo and Black Bean Salsa Recipe with Avocado, Lime, and Cilantro

Tomatillo and Black Bean SalsaThis year I planted tomatillos in my garden, and although I vaguely remember growing them once before, it's definitely a plant I'm not very familiar with. For a month now my plants have been loaded with tomatillos, but I had no idea how to tell when they were ready to pick. Then I figured out (duh!) that when they fill out the papery husk or split it open, they're ready.

If you haven't eaten tomatillos, some people compare them to green tomatoes, although I think there's definitely a more tart, citrus flavor to tomatillos. They're an essential ingredient in many Mexican dishes, especially Chile Verde, which is one dish I had in mind when I planted them. I haven't made that yet, but this salsa with tomatillos, black beans, avocado, lime, and cilantro was a good way to put a few of the tomatillos to use. I served it as a sauce for Wild Salmon Roasted in Olive Oil but you could eat it with chips or as a side dish too. Tomatillos also come in a can, but I would probably look for fresh tomatillos to make the salsa.

Here's an example of some tomatillos that are definitely ready to use You can also pick them when the papery husk feels full, even if they haven't started to split open.

I cut the tomatillos in crosswise slices, then lenghtwise slices, then chopped those to get same-size pieces for the salsa.

Tomatillo and Black Bean Salsa with Avocado, Lime, and Cilantro
(Makes about 3 cups of salsa which will keep in the fridge for a day or two. Recipe created by Kalyn.)

1 avocado, diced into small pieces
1 T + 2 T fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp. salt (I used Vege-Sal)
1 can black beans, rinsed well
1 cup chopped fresh tomatillos
1 cup chopped cilantro (use more or less to taste)
1 tsp. Green Tabasco sauce (or other hot sauce of your choice)
1 T olive oil

Put black beans into a colander places in the sink and rinse with cold water until no more foam appears. Let beans drain while you prep other ingredients, then blot dry with a paper towel if they still look wet.

Peel avocado and cut into small pieces. Put avocado pieces in plastic bowl and toss with 1 T lime juice and salt. Add chopped tomatillos, chopped cilantro, drained beans, 2 T lime juice, Green Tabasco sauce, and olive oil. Toss together. If possible, let salsa sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour before serving.

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South Beach Suggestions:
This low-glycemic version of salsa is good for any phase of the South Beach Diet or any other low-glycemic eating plan. I served the salsa with Wild Salmon Roasted in Olive Oil.)

More Versions of Tomatillo Salsa To Try:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Tomatillo Salsa Verde from Simply Recipes
Green Salsa with Tomatillo, Cilantro, and Lime from Cookography
Tomatillo Salsa from Dil Se
Roasted Tomatillo and Jalapeno Salsa from Gluten Free Gobsmacked
Chipotle Tomatillo Salsa from Vanilla Garlic

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Kitt said...

Love tomatillos! They're very easy to grow, and prolific. One interesting thing about them: They are self-incompatible, meaning you always have to plant two, or they won't produce any fruit.

Kevin said...

I have not tried raw tomatillos yet. This salsa sounds great with them in!

Kalyn said...

Kitt, I didn't realize that when I planted mine, but there are definitely two! I have loads of tomatillos.

Kevin, I know you'll like them, just based on the other foods you like. They taste perfect with lime and avocado!

Dana McCauley said...

I'd love to try growing tomatillos. Any tips other than needing two for pollination to occur?

MegRuth said...

This looks divine! Do you think it would still taste amazing sans cilantro? I'm not a fan of the flavor.

P.S. I love your recipes!

Kalyn said...

Dana, they seem to grow like weeds. I keep cutting mine back so they don't outgrow the box. I'd say they need pretty much the same thing as tomatoes: full sun, water when the dirt gets dry, and a bit of fertilizer now and then.

Kalyn said...

MegRuth, so glad to hear you like the recipes. Yes, I think this would still be good without cilantro. You could use parsley, but I'd use a lot less, maybe 1/4 cup. I think green onion would also be good in this.

Sarah Caron said...

Kalyn, that looks fantastic! I have been on the lookout for tomatillos for some time now, but haven't seen them in the supermarket or farmer's market here. Perhaps they aren't grown in the Northeast? Something for me to look into for sure.

Anita (Married... with dinner) said...

I had no idea that you could even eat tomatillos raw... Some Mexican-food junkie I am! :)

Kalyn said...

Sarah, I wonder if anyone does grow them there? Every grocery store here sells them, pretty much all year. They are a Southwestern thing though, so maybe not available where you are.

Anita, they taste great raw, a bit tangier than when they're cooked!

Ilva said...

Oh I wish I could get some over here, they sound fantastic! Lucky you!

Paz said...

I think that's so cool you have tomatillos in your garden.


Cheryl said...

they look great! Good to know you need 2. I should try them next year

Alisa said...

Kalyn they sure look lovely! Hope you can share more recipes like this one!

Maria said...

Glad you grew some this year. I love tomatillo salsa!!

Ana said...

I think I would just like to eat this with a spoon!!!

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I love that you carried the green theme through with green Tabasco, too. Adding avocado is a great way to smooth out the tart flavor of the tomatillo. Wish I could grow them in my garden.

Emily said...

I love using tomatillos but have only a few recipes that call for them. I love your salsa! It sounds very summery!

Maureen "Hold The Gluten" said...

What a fantastic recipe!! I consume a ton of my standard homemade guac but it can get boring after a while :) I love, love, love that you added the beans! As a vegetarian, I'm always trying to sneak a little extra protein in.

Mother of Perseus said...

oh goodness that looks so good! I love reading your blog and trying out your recipes. Being in the Navy means I have to stay fit, and your food is very silor friendly ;)

I live in Virginia Beach, and there are always tomatillos in the produce section... so that nixes the not-grown-in-the-notheast theory. Or is this considered center-east? lol


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Meeta said...

raw tomatillos - never had them raw. but based on your other salsas i've tried i am sure this is going to be a winner. i just wish we got tomatillos as readily as they are available in the US!

Pam said...

I would like to try growing some tomatillos. I love them. This recipe looks perfect!

Jeanne said...

We really struggle to get tomatillos here in the UK, but I imagine I could try growing my own? Just worried the summer won't get hot enough over here for them! I do love the taste though - they are so fresh and wonderful in a salsa. Love yours with the black beans :)

bee said...

we have tons of tomatillos. jai just made a huge batch of salsa but tis is another thing we'd love to try. thanks for the recipe.

Ami said...

I've learned I really like tomatillos and I was wondering what other types of dishes I could make with them besides salsa verde. Now I know. This looks wonderful!

SalsaGuy said...

This salsa recipe rocks, especially when it is partnered with fish like wild salmon. I will surely try to make this at home as well as recommend it at

sam said...

I am growing tomatillos for the first time with the intention of using them to make chutney. The climate in Portugal is perfect for them and mine seem to be doing very well.

Kalyn said...

Sam have fun with your tomatillos. They are very prolific, so you should have plenty to experiment with!

Chef Jay said...

Hi, I find this recipe very delicious I think I'll include this in my compilation other than my own canning salsa recipes. All the best!

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