I live in Arizona, so I learned to say “tom-ah-TEE-yo” correctly long before I knew what it looked like. I knew tomatillo was an ingredient in some Mexican food, but I had no idea what it was the first time I saw it in the supermarket. I assumed they were small green tomatoes, and since watching the movie “Fried Green Tomatoes” I knew those were a thing people (not me) might be interested in buying. When I saw some of the green tomatoes were encased in papery husks, I was completely baffled.

This is going to sound weird, but my next thought was they looked like the giant-size version of these weed pods my neighbor convinced me were edible when I was a kid. (Apparently, I’d eat weeds, but not broccoli.) We’d pick them from our driveways and munch on them while riding our bikes, completely heedless of whether they’d been sprayed with weed killer. It’s a miracle any child survives to adulthood, right?

I know I had tried tomatillo in salsa verde long before the 50 Vegetable Challenge was a thing, but I didn’t remember liking it in particular. However, I added it to the list because I couldn’t be sure the fault was with the salsa recipe or the vegetable itself. I couldn’t pin down the flavor from memory. I figured that was a good enough reason to give it another go. If you’d like to hear about my first taste of raw tomatillo, check it out at Trouble-Free Tomatillo.

I have yet to cook with it, but fortunately there are loads of restaurant and pre-packaged options. The aforementioned salsa verde is an excellent method if you want to cross it off your list with a minimum of fuss.