Monday, October 3, 2011

Week 16 - Tomatillos from the Hoophouse

This week we are cleaning up the last fruits in the hoophouse. That means everyone will get a last hurrah of tomatoes. Eat them quick because they are starting to split on the vines out there. Members will also receive a bag of tomatillos this week. It's time for a big batch of salsa verde or, for those interested in another canning project, pickled tomatillos (recipe below).

Pickled tomatillos, pictured snug in their jar, make an awesome addition to quesadillas,
burritos, roast meats, and fish all winter long.
For week 16 members will receive Spaghetti Squash, Carrots, Apples, Fenugreek Sprouts, and Kale or Chard along with their Tomatoes, and Tomatillos.

We've let the last of the tomatoes ripen up in the hoophouse.
As you can see, the plants are done now. Eat your tomatoes
up fast because they are ready to burst!
Tomatillos will keep for a week or so on the counter. Use them in salsas, stews,
or sauces. They also make fantastic chili. Or try them out in the pickle recipe below.
Pickled Tomatillos

Last year we were overrun with tomatillos from the hoophouse very late in the season. I had to figure out what to do with them before they rotted. The favorite solution turned out to be these pickles, based on a recipe from Linda Ziedrich's Joy of Pickling. If you are itching to can something, give these a go. They're simple to put together and oh so welcome when the summer garden is covered in snow.

This recipe makes about a quart of pickles. It works best canned in 1/2 pint (1 cup) or 1 pint (2 cup) jars
  • 1 Pound Tomatillos (amount in share), husked, washed, and halved or quartered.
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons pickling salt (or sea salt - just make sure it doesn't have an anti-caking agent)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
The following ingredients are per jar of pickles:
  • 1 clove garlic, slivered
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seed
  • 10 whole black peppercorns
Pack the tomatillos into two prepared pint or four prepared half pint jars (prepare jars by washing them and drying them in a 200 degree oven, or sterilizing in some other manner) leaving a half inch head space. Add one clove of garlic, 1/2 teaspoon oregano, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, and 10 peppercorns to each jar.

Bring the vinegar, water, salt and sugar to a simmer. Stir until the salt and sugar are completely dissolved. Pour the liquid over the tomatillos, separating it evenly between the jars. If the tomatillos are not quite covered add an equal amount of vinegar and water to cover them.

Cap the jars with two piece canning lids, be sure not to close the rings to tightly. Boil for ten minutes in a boiling water bath. Let sit for one month before eating so that the flavors (especially the oregano) have a chance to mellow and combine. The pickles will keep for at least a year, or a month in the refrigerator once opened.

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