Growing Salsa Verde (+ Podcast)

This week I was a guest on Margaret Roach of A Way to Garden.com‘s radio show. We spoke at length about growing tomatillos as well as other edible crops of the same genus (Physalis). You can listen to that episode over here.

Tomatillos (Physalis ixocarpa) have only recently gained popularity as a backyard garden crop across North America and are definitely worth growing if you’re a Mexican food nut. I first learned of this tomato-like fruit on a trip to southern Mexico many years ago. At first I thought the tangy, green sauce we were served with quesadillas was made of green tomatoes, until I did some research and discovered it was a different fruit entirely. Back at home I started buying salsa verde in cans at a Latin American food store in Toronto’s Kensington Market. I honestly believed for a time that store-bought was good enough and couldn’t be improved until I grew my own and learned just how wrong I was. Like their botanical cousin the tomato (both plants are nightshade or Solanaceae family plants), tomatillos are infinitely better tasting when grown at home organically. They are sweeter, tarter, more flavourful, and complex. They are a surprise.

Since then, growing tomatillos and canning up my own homegrown salsa verde has been a part of my yearly routine. If you can grow tomatoes, you can grow tomatillos. They are both sun worshippers with fairly similar needs. However, I’ve found that tomatillos are actually quite a bit easier than their finicky cousins, requiring less water and fertilizer to stay happy. They are less prone to diseases or pests—I’ve never had any problems at all, except with cutworms, which can be a problem in-ground. All-in-all, their papery husks seem to act as a convenient cover that seems to protect growing fruit from any possible invaders.

If you’ve grown tomatillos once, chances are high that they’ll pop up on their own for years thereafter. They’re so tough I’ve had plants come up in the shallow gravel covering the tarpaper part of my old apartment roof! Unfortunately, I have found that because tomatillos need a very long growing season (80-120 days), these self-sown volunteers come up too late to produce a real crop. For that reason you are better off tossing them into the compost and starting your seeds much earlier indoors.

Growing Tomatillo from Seed

  • Tomatillos need a long season (80-120 days depending on the variety).
  • Start seeds earlier than tomatoes to ensure a good harvest, about 8 weeks before the last frost.
  • Plant transplants outdoors about 2 weeks or so after the last frost.
  • Grow at least two plants to ensure successful cross-pollination and larger yields.

Tomatillo Growing Tips

  • Like tomatoes, fertilize with a nitrogen based product like fish emulsion early in the season and then back off when flower buds appear.
  • You may allow plants to sprawl along the ground, but they are more likely to suffer insect and critter damage.
  • Staking keeps plants compact in tight spaces. The fruit is heavy so I suggest staking securely (I use bamboo poles formed into a tripod).
  • Harvest when the papery husks are filled and bursting open.

Tips for Growing Tomatillo in Containers

I typically grow tomatillos in containers and have had amazing success in some very difficult conditions. A few years ago I purchased a VERY large plastic storage bin from the housewares section of a department store for about $6-8. I drilled lots of holes in the bottom, filled it with potting soil and a bit of duck manure, and mulched the top with straw. I set the bin into a warm and sunny, south-facing spot. Because the bin was so oversized, I was able to plant both plants into it with no repercussions. That fall I enjoyed my best tomatillo harvest ever.

  • 16″+ deep containers are best, although I have had success, but smaller yields with 12″ pots as long as I was careful not to let them dry out.
  • Mulch containers with a thick layer of straw to keep the soil from drying out too quickly.
  • Grow one plant per pot (unless you use an incredibly large bin like I did)

Grow Tomatillo as an Ornamental

Tomatillo plants are a lot more decorative than tomatoes. They can be trained onto stakes or allowed to grow wild. They produce pretty yellow flowers and dangly papery lanterns on crooked stems. The purple varieties including ‘Purple de Milpa’ and ‘Purple’ are the prettiest with a bit of purple in the stems, leaf veins, and husks. In 2012 I had two tomatillo plants and absolutely nowhere to put them save a bare patch in a new perennial bed I had just dug up. I planted them there and was surprised to find how well they integrated into the bed as an ornamental.

My Tips for Making Homegrown Salsa Verde

Salsa verde can be used for more than a chip dip or taco sauce. I also cook vegetables, chicken, and fish in it and serve over rice.

  • I put onions, garlic (sometimes), peppers, and fresh cilantro into my homegrown sauce. I leave the cilantro out when canning.
  • I’m not a fan of hot sauces so I use peppers such as ‘Poblano’ or ‘Pasilla Bajio‘, which have a more complex flavour and lend only a little heat.
  • Rather than cooking the sauce on the stove, roasting or charring them on a grill adds a smoky flavour. Do not use oil if you plan to preserve the sauce in jars.
  • Roast all of the ingredients together in the oven at one time. Remove the pepper peel if you are planning to can.
  • Use lime juice to add acidity rather than lemon juice or citric acid.

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Update: This giveaway is closed. Thanks!

THE GIVEAWAY

THERE ARE 2 WAYS TO WIN, and each of the winners chosen at random will win 1 Salsa Fiesta Collection Gift Seed Tin courtesy of Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply who is a sponsor here at You Grow Girl. The gift set contains seed from ten different vegetables and herbs that can be grown to make several different types of salsa, including both a purple and a green tomatillo.

Please note that this giveaway is open to US residents ONLY.

All you have to do to enter is answer the following question:

Do you make your own homegrown salsa? Please share your hints, tips, and favorite ingredients, or go ahead and just say “Count me in” if you’re feeling shy.

After commenting below, click over to Margaret’s tomatillo post at A Way to Garden.com and comment there for a second chance at the prize.

Winners will be drawn randomly after entries close at midnight on Monday, February 25, and informed by email.

Thanks again to Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply, in the business of providing supplies for organic gardening since 1976, for their support of You Grow Girl and A Way to Garden.

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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232 thoughts on “Growing Salsa Verde (+ Podcast)

  1. I like to juice jalepenos and add juice to the salsa for a more consistant kick in addition to small peices of hot peppers.

  2. Tomatillos have only recently gained popularity in North America? Are you forgetting that Mexico IS part of North America? And also that tomatillo is found all over the southwestern US in traditional gardens and cuisine? And is served daily in national chain restaurants? “I recently discovered these” does not equal “new to entire continent.”

  3. We did our first attempts at canning our own salsa this past year, though I have always been a big fan of freshly made pico de gallo from our own tomatoes during summer and fall. We did three or four different recipes with different amounts of peppers and each has been terrific in its own way. My favorite is full of yellow tomatoes, bell peppers and some slightly hotter peppers like jalapenos, lots of sweet onion and some cilantro. It almost tastes like peach salsa! I am looking forward to trying to grow some tomatillos this year and am happy to know they are so low maintenance.

  4. Tomatillos are my absolute favorite vegetable to grow! I make many batches of salsa verde every summer, some to can and some to eat right away. I make it pretty much the same way you do, just broil tomatillos, onions, garlic, and a few green chiles until they are nicely charred and then throw it all in the blender with some cilantro and lime juice. I also freeze a lot of tomatillos whole to cook during the winter. I just peel the husks off and throw them in a freezer bag.

  5. Yes – I make a simple pico de gallo style salsa. Tomatoes, green pepper, onion, lots of cilantro, some hot pepper sauce, garlic. Cilantro is my secret weapon and very easy to grow here in North Carolina.

  6. I see you edited in the words “as a backyard garden crop”, yet your statement is still inaccurate. Tomatillos as a garden crop are not a recent development across North America. Maybe in Canada it’s recent, or maybe among Anglos. I don’t know why you’re so insistent that tomatillos are “recent.” They’re not.

    • That’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying that their gain in popularity as a backyard food crop across the whole continent is recent. I believe that the word across makes it clear that I am not talking about North America as a homogeneous place. I am well aware that tomatillos are a native to Mexico and have been grown there as a food crop for a very long time, as well as southern parts of the US.

  7. I love to make salsa. The chiles are the key thing for success in my opinion. Some years, I cannot get chiles that are hot enough for my taste and don’t make salsa then. I live in the midwest now (formerly in Colorado) and I think growing my own chiles is the only way I will get good ones. The farmer’s market hardly had any chiles last year, and those were like eating a bell pepper

    • My neighbor has a very complicated method for heating up chilies/jalepenos that includes covering them with intermittent periods of drought and then some kind of Hardening before harvest…but I tend to overwater and mine are always hotter than his…makes him really mad ;)…my first year growing them in Florida they would burn your fingers when you cut them….I pick mine really small…if I use a big one, no one in my family can eat it….I also plant them with a few matches…stuck head down into the roots like grandma used to…happy growing! this post reminded me I have a bagful of tomatillos in the freezer, so I’m headed to the kitchen!

  8. Just last year I started making homemade salsa part with ingredients from the farmer’s market and part from my garden. I’m going to try starting some plants from seed for the first time this year. Thanks for all the tips on tomatillos.

  9. Count me in! My garden grown tomatoes, jalapeños and cayenne peppers would welcome some tomatillo neighbours.

  10. I don’t grow my own salsa ingredients yet. This post is inspiring however! Is it true you need 2 tomatillo plants because they don’t self-pollinate?

    • I find that the yield (per plant) is lower when I don’t grow a second… You’re good if your neighbours are growing tomatillos, but that is less likely in more northern parts of the US and Canada.

  11. I do make fresh salsa with things I grow – only I don’t grow the onions yet… but everything else: tomatoes, peppers & cilantro. Well, I guess I don’t grow limes either… :)

    I’ve never tried growing tomatillos, though I use them frequently.

  12. I love all things Mexican and am hoping to have a go at planting these this year. Its great to know that they also grow well in containers.

  13. We’ve just started planting a few herbs and veggies. I love our new beds and fingers crossed we’ll have something to harvest. We make salsa using tomatillos, lime, cilantro, onions, red tomatoes and add mango for a sweeter version.

  14. I grow tomatoes & cilantro, and DH makes them into a wonderful pico de gallo that I eat (no joke) from a soup bowl with a spoon.

  15. Here in restaurants Texas and I suspect in other areas of the south and southwestern US (curious about this in Mexico….) the tomatillo green salsas have a creamy texture to them. I haven’t researched yet a recipe on how they achieve this (sour cream?) but it is very delicious.

    I like to roast my tomatoes sometimes before making a salsa, definitely throwing in cilantro, garlic, peppers (spicy is good), salt and lime or lemon juice.

  16. We made salsa verde from the green and purple tomatillos, jalapenos, and onions we got from our CSA, plus garlic we grew ourselves. We put it in the freezer and just made enchiladas this week from them. Like all Mexican food, anything with salsa verde tastes infinitely better with lime on it.

  17. I love making my own salsa, we grow all the ingredients ourselves which makes it all the better. Both my hubby and I prefer a fairly chunky salsa with everything diced similarly sized. He likes it spicier than me, so we usually make two or more varieties.

  18. I made homemade salsa for the first time year before last – it was entirely from scratch, and all homegrown or farmer’s market veggies. It was pretty good. Last year I hesitatingly tried something different – still fresh local veggies, but I tried a dried salsa mix (gasp!). I have to say…it was AWESOME. I am sold. After the first batch, I loved it so much, I made another big batch! Mrs. Wages salsa mix. Oh yes.

  19. I do enjoy making both green and red salsas, but I don’t can them (yet). I typically roast the peppers, tomatoes or tomatillos in the oven or on the grill, and use the Kitchen-Aid stand mixer to grind everything up. My favorite thing to add is a smoked chipotle, ground right up with everything else.

    Last summer, I grew the purple tomatillos, but they all came out green. I think if I had got them in the ground about two-three weeks earlier, they would have ripened to purple, since when I harvested the last of them, they were starting to show a violet blush.

  20. I have had luck growing a purple variety in Massachusetts, but my green variety did not do well- too short a growing season, I think.
    Hopefully I will try again this year!

  21. I usually grow everything but the lime, but if I can find good quality mangos I love to make mango salsa. Haven’t canned any yet, but am hoping to attempt to this year.

  22. Last summer, I canned salsa with a variety of tomatoes, peppers and tomatillos. When I open a jar now, it’s a fresh taste of summer!

  23. Have you tried Cape Gooseberries? Closely related to the red coloured lanterns, they are much like what I would imagine a tomatillo to be like. We have them here in Australia and they are also incredibly hardy.

    • Yes! I have grown them three or four times. Twice in large containers. I have to start the seed very early here as they are semi-tropical and require an even longer season that tomatillo to produce. They are much nicer tasting than the ground cherries (another physalis) that are popular here.

  24. mmmm, I’m fairly new to gardening, but I’ve long enjoyed my father’s (mostly) fresh-from-the-garden pico de gallo, and I would love to make my own salsa!

    Anyway, count me in!

  25. I have been canning my own salsa for years. One bushel of tomatoes barely makes enough salsa for a year. This past year I tried a corn salsa and a salsa with chile peppers. I normally only make a jalapeno salsa. I am always up for new salsas!!!!!

  26. Count me in! I have never made salsa before, but since this is the first year I will be growing all the ingredients I will have to try it!

  27. I love to make my own Salsa verde! I make mine with everything roasted too! I use garlic and onion,jalapeño peppers,either lemon or lime(whatever is available)lots of cilantro and some sea salt! This year i want to challenge myself to grow my own tomatillos, peppers,Cilantro and lemons and limes in the back yard!

  28. Totally make my own salsa. My bf’s auntie is a great inspiration to me after I’d made many of the ball canning salsa recipes over and over. My love this year was heirloom tomato salsa with the hot, hot, hot peppers his aunt grew. Delish! My best hint is – chop by hand. We have some “auto chopped” jars but I love how hand chopping preserves the tomatoes and you can remember them in the dead of winter as they were in the summer!

  29. We never make the same salsa twice, using whatever is in our garden and the CSA boxes: tomatoes, onions, garlic, any kind of pepper (hot or sweet), mangoes, peaches, cherries, lemon, lime, herbs, sea salt. It’s all fair game. Yum. Is it summer yet?

  30. I have never made my own garden salsa…but would love to! I enjoy a nice pico de gallo and think homegrown would be amazing ;)

  31. I don’t usually have a high enough yield to make a whole batch of salsa from things I have grown but I do love to throw in some homegrown tomatoes and cilantro to my salsa! I made and canned some salsa verde a few years ago (from tomatillos from the farmers market), I would love to do it again.

  32. We grow onions, garlic, & cilantro we use, but the tomatoes & peppers vary year to year. Last summer was fantastic for tomatoes & the scotch bonnet plants a friend gave us, but the previous three years sucked for anything that required lots of sun. I’ve grown green tomatillos once but they never made it as far as salsa – they went straight into tacos & burritos. We’ve got our fingers crossed for this year. I’d love to have some purple tomatillos, yellow tomatoes, and red & orange peppers make it this year. Dice that all up, throw in a handful of cilantro, minced garlic & lime juice, maybe a few nasturtium flowers on top, and we’ll be good to go!

  33. Yes! I love growing and eating salsa! I’ve found that a couple teaspoons of apple cider vinegar add a great little bit of flavor. Have not tried tomatillos, but would love to!

  34. I do grow my own salsa: it’s one of my main goals every season! I’ve grown tomatillos for about ten years, in Iowa and Wisconsin. I love growing anything in a husk (ground cherries are also a favorite) because they’re so beautiful. I start tomatillo seeds indoors, and since moving to Northern WI, I find the smaller purple varieties do better (less sun and heat up here sometimes stunt the big boys). We make awesome fresh salsa verde, and also freeze quite a bit for tomatillo-chicken soup in the winter. I grow several smaller tomatoes and peppers because of our short, cold season, but it all tastes great when it comes together.

  35. Thank you for offering such a wonderful giveaway! I do make my own salsa, but have never used tomatillos. I usually stick with the basics… tomatoes, onion, lime juice, etc.

  36. Hi! I’m a brand-new reader, and was intrigued to finally learn what these things are. I have seen tomatillos in the grocery store, but never tried them. Now I want to! I have not made salsa ever before, but I am curious to try in the near future. Would also love to be in the drawing if possible. Thanks.

  37. Oh Yes, I definitely make salsa. Just writing it, my mouth is becoming watery. Chop off the tomatoes, jalapeno in a food processor. Mix lemon juice, finely chopped onion and cilantro, sugar, salt in it. I also chop and mix some garlic; sometimes just roast garlic and then mix. I am also thinking of making a salsa with roasted onion, garlic, tomato and jalapeno.

  38. Scallions are so easy and quick from onion sets. Love them in salsa fresca. I also like to switch up the herb- chives, oregano, basil, dill.

  39. Hi! I’m a new reader–I make salsa but this year I did something wrong…I didn’t like the flavour so at the last minute I added tomato paste, tinkered with it, and ended up freezing batches of tomato sauce instead of salsa. It did have too much vinegar-flavour but I hated to waste all my hard work! When I thaw the sauce I tinker with herbs and we have enjoyed it, but not as much as we would have enjoyed salsa. Next year!

  40. Thanks for offering the give-away. I have been enjoying your blog. I have been trying to grow a few new things each year. Last year I had tomatoes, bell and jalapeño peppers. This year, I am adding garlic and onions! Although I enjoyed (and shared) the produce last year, I never got around to making salsa, although my decision about what to plant was made with salsa on the mind!

  41. I’m a new reader to the site, though I’ve been pouring over “Grow Great Grub” for a year now. I love a lot of garlic in my salsa. This next week I’m hoping to get to canning a mountain of tomatillos saved up from a summer CSA in my freezer, every time I go to grab some ice they sit there taunting me.

  42. Yes! I’ve been growing tomatillos in containers for 3 years now with varying success. Last year was the first time I had huge plants and massive yield, which was so exciting. I think the key was getting them started early enough that the darkness and frost at the end of fall didn’t do them in before the fruit came. I’ve made lots of salsa, but haven’t tried canning yet.

  43. Grew tomatillos in southern England with great success. I still haven’t seen them in grocery stores, so was thrilled when they thrived in the greenhouse and, with a smaller yield, outdoors. Makes a transplanted Texan very happy.

  44. I make my own salsa from fresh grown produce! So far I’ve only been able to conquer red salsas though, as my tomatillos keep getting hit with one problem or another every year! Last year a nasty wind storm snapped the plant pretty early, the two years before that the invasive stinkbugs from Asia decimated the crop! I’ll be trying again this year and crossing my fingers for my very own fresh tomatillos.

    Besides salsa they are also delicious eaten ripe off the vine (nice and tangy; don’t forget to wash to get rid of the gluey substance holding the husk on) or chopped up into a salad with watermelon and and a little lime juice and cilantro!

    To counter heat in salsas, add a little bit of sugar to the mix or if you’re really sensitive, only use half a jalapeno after removing the seeds and white membrane inside as that is where the REAL heat lies.

  45. This is the first year that I am trying tomatillos, but I love to make salsa with tomatoes every summer. I use a progressive dicer which makes it so much quicker than me dicing. :) I just throw in a couple tomatoes, one small onion, a couple of jalapenos (depending on how hot they are coming out of the garden), cilantro, garlic, a little chili pepper and black pepper too, and lime juice. It’s pretty simple, but it’s healthy and delicious!

  46. I’ve made my own salsa for many, many years. I always plant a salsa garden specifically designed to give me enough onions, tomatoes, peppers for canning season. Salsa takes a lot of veggies!

  47. I make salsa constantly when tomatoes are fresh. I can salsa on alternate years (tomato sauces on the other years). But my favorite use for tomatillos is in a green chili made with pork. When they are abundant I roast them with peppers garlic and onions and freeze everything I scrape off the pan, charred bits, juice and all. This frozen concoction is wonderful tossed in a crock pot with a pork shoulder or dumped into a chili.

  48. I love making my own salsa, especially with tomatillos. The last time I made it, I was the only one who could eat it due to one (or three) extra jalapenos. I may or may not have done it on purpose.

    But! Try quartering the tomatillos and cooking them down with some sugar. Add that to some strawberries and a crumb topping – best crisp ever!

  49. i LOVE to roast everything (tomatillos, onions, garlic and jalapenos) and then blend them up in my food processor.

    thanks for sharing!

  50. I made several large batches of salsa last year with my cherry tomatoes and anaheim peppers. I’m hoping to grow jalapenos and tomatillos this year to expand the salsa making!

  51. I make fresh salsa whenever my garden will slow it. I love adding a diced mango in with all the traditional ingredients. It covers sweet, salty, savory, and spicy!

  52. I am busy planning my first garden and sincerely hope I win some of your seeds.

    We bought a much neglected cottage and have spent the past seven months rehabbing it ourselves. Now that spring is on the horizon, I am trying to figure out how best to use our quarter-acre so that I will have vegetables as well as flowers and some space to walk around and sit to enjoy the view.

    If my garden is at all successful, salsa is one of the many things I plan to learn how to make. I will be watching your pages for future information.

    Thanks bunches!
    Kay

  53. I’ve never canned or made salsa before but I plan to try it this summer. We’re using deer fencing this year after our garden last year was a complete failure due to the deer and bunnies. Wish me luck! And thanks for the giveaway! New plant varieties are so exciting! Even though I’m not a great gardener yet, I will be someday! :D

  54. just started making salsa last year. I found no single recipe I liked so I winged it. I chop up ouw own tomatoes and hot peppers and roast onions & garlic, chop them and add them in. I add a few tsps of lime juice and about 1/4 cup vinegar. I use a little hot pepper for my kid, but for the grownups I use quite a bit of the hot pepper and also add chipotle powder or sometimes whole chipotles & adobo sauce. Sooo good!

  55. I can’t wait to get my garden out from under the snow and start things growing in it.
    I have never seen the purple tomatillos.

  56. Count me in! We make our own salsa, but would love to do it with home-grown ingredients instead of store-bought.

  57. Count me in! I would love to grow and try some purple tomatillos. I like making tomatillo salsa with fresh peppers and garlic!

  58. I use fresh produce (not homegrown but from farmers market) to make fresh pico. Adding chopped cilantro makes for a really nice flavor. My family loves it so much we can just eat it with a spoon. Have never used tomatillos, though. Will give them a try. Thanks for the giveaway!

  59. I would except this year my tomatoes didn’t produce fruit until September! Also my cilantro always bolts before the tomatoes are done.

  60. We love our locavore salsa!- organic heirloom tomatoes, onion, cilantro,sweet and jalapeño papers, maine sea salt, VT sunflower oil and lime from our lime tree we got from Logees!!- yum!

  61. I just had this conversation with my 8 year old salsa making son. He wants to try tomatillos this year. Hope to have some in the garden in a few months

  62. It has been a while since i’ve made my own salsa– but tomatoes,peppers, onions, garliic, cilanto, and lots of lime juice are usually included.

  63. This will be the first year for tomatillos in our garden, I’m so excited. We’ve always used green tomatoes at the end of the season as a subsitute for them, will be such a treat to have fresh salsa verde this summer. I like the flavor of Serrano peppers in my sala, along with plenty of cilantro.

  64. For a simple recipe for non-vegetarians, try the chicken baked in salsa verde at simplyrecipes.com. My ravenous teen-aged sons recommend it.

  65. What a beautiful vegetable! I’d love to grow it here in WV! Am enjoying other comments and would love to try green salsa. Thank you for the chance to win. Best wishes, Kendra

  66. I just never knew you could grow tomatillos in the garden. I usually use tomatoes from the farmers market. i drain the tomatoes and freeze the juice that drains off for soups later in the winter. By draining the tomatoes the salsa is chunky and not watery.

  67. I love growing tomatillos–all those pretty little papery lanterns that fill up right before the end of the growing season! They are a must in my salsa verde and in big pots of chili verde which I make on cold winter weekends. I like to roast tomatillos to get a bit of caramelization before adding them to recipes. So easy to use, I don’t know why they haven’t hit the mainstream more lately.

  68. I grew 2 tomatillo plants this year and had no idea what to do with them all. I wound up making a roasted green salsa verde to can. It used tomatillos, garlic, onion, hot and sweet peppers from my garden and csa, then once it’s all roasted you purée it. Then I canned a bunch of jars. It was so good I’m tripling my tomatillos this year and giving the salsa away as gifts.

  69. Tomatillos, cilentro, Ancho pepper, fresh garlic, green onions, fresh lemon juice…toss in food processor till you have a texture you like. Salt???

    It is interesting reading all the great comments. I don’t stake my tomatillos. Garden 2012 they self sowed and I had about 50 plants. Now if I could just get ground cherries to grow like that.

  70. Fresh jalapenos, cilantro and onions are a must. Lately i’ve been adding white pepper and carrots and the salsa is fantastic!

  71. This will be my first time growing ground cherries. Should I start seeds in doors 8 weeks before last frost date here in zone 7?

  72. You ladies and your crazy giveaways!
    I somewhat dabble in salsa making… but like I said in Margaret’s post I usually make it a little too hot…
    [pretty purple pepper? I'll have to maybe do a 2nd seed order this year... mwahahahaha.]

    I always thought that salsa verde was made with green [verde...] tomatoes! You learn something new all of the time… hehehe.
    But after reading your many posts praising the tomatillo I decided to add it to my seed order this year! I will try growing them and making my own salsa from the recipe in your book~

    Whee! So exciting!

  73. I loved the info on tomatillos! Look forward to using them more. On a different note – here’s a warm green chili recipe I like. land 1/2 c. cooked, chopped pork,
    chopped onion, cumin, 1 can rotel tomatoes, 3 cans chicken broth, 1 T. cornstarch and 1 c. water. Great on enchiladas,quesadillas, or sopapillas.

  74. My tomatillos all died an early death last year, quite the mystery….. Perhaps a virus. Yes, I like to make my own salsa from my own homegrown vegetables. With tomatoes, with fire-roasted tomatillos and peppers, and onions, basil, garlic, cilantro, lemon juice and spices.
    One year I tried roasting the tomatillos on our charcoal grill, but they kept rolling and falling through the big gap where the wire handle was. It worked much better in the oven on a tray.

  75. I like thick salsa but don’t want to cook the salsa long enough to thicken it and I don’t want to include thickeners. Year before last I started drying down my tomatoes in our electric smoker. Works great and I have a nice “smoked” tomato salsa.

  76. I love making batches of salsa with the tomatoes I’ve grown. Its one of my favorite things to do with them, besides just slicing them and adding salt and pepper. I do love salsa verde but have never grown tomatillos for it. I will add it to the seed list :)

  77. I grow tomatoes and chiles in containers on my deck–the only part of my garden that’s warm and sunny enough to do so. I make tomato or tomatillo salsa frequently, but fruit salsas are fantastic variations! Mango and papaya have been around for years–simply substitute for tomatoes in your favorite salsa recipe. I’ve been making watermelon salsa and peach salsa in the summer. The salt, acid, and spicy chiles just work perfectly with super-sweet seasonal fruit. If you didn’t have time to bake that peach pie you’d planned, dice them up and make salsa–incredible on fish, with chips or veggies, and the meat-eaters I know say it’s great on steak and chicken, too!

  78. Please count me in the Salsa Fiesta Collection Gift Seed Tin. I’ve made green salsa verde once with tomatillos from my garden. The plants took up too much room and had to be removed to let the peppers and tomatoes get any light.
    Cheers
    Louise

  79. I do make my own salsa, but following the “safe” directions, it never really comes out hot-which I love. Usually the recipes say to add more chilis when the salsa is opened. I’d love to have a recipe for HOT salsa, and love tomatillos, that I can preserve.
    Waiting in hopes!!
    Cathryn

  80. I live in Southern California and have always purchased the “store bought” variety of green salsa, but I vow to make my own this year! I’ll give growing tomatillos a try and know if I’m not successful, they are plentiful at the famers markets in my city.

  81. I love salsa, and have a few recipes.
    In the past, I grew tomatillos, but I had an abundant harvest and did not know how to best preserve/use them.
    I want to make my own salsa this year, so Count Me In for the giveaway!

  82. I’ve only made one green salsa, and I wasn’t super happy with the results. Tomato salsa though, I’ve got that one down. Enough garlic to give you bad breath for a few days, and it’s perfect. :)

  83. I cannot freeze my favorite salsa recipe but it includes, sweet red pepper, jalapeno pepper, tomatoes, white onion, cilantro, lime, avocado and salt. Without fail it is the most popular dish at our work potlucks. We grow many of the items in the salsa.

  84. Always have trouble growing tomatillos. I won’t give up though! Love tomatillos in a salsa added to rice. I swear I could eat a bucket of it

  85. I have tried to make salsa several times, but it never came out amazing enough for the work involved. I have ordered tomatillo seeds for the first time this year so I was glad to see this post for growing tips!

  86. I grew 2 tomatillo plants for the first time last year. It is great how they ripen at the same time so they are great for canning. I used the recipe in my Ball canning book. I used whatever peppers I had ripe at the time, but otherwise followed it exactly. It is so good! Also great for making a pork stew. Just put cubed pork, a jar of tomatillo salsa, some chopped homegrown frozen peppers and chicken broth in a crock pot.

  87. Summer salsa here is made with tomatoes, jalapenos, onion, garlic salt, cumin and a pinch of sugar. Never tried tomatillos, and now want to!

  88. Last year was my first time to make my own salsa and this year, I want to make a batch with veggies that hopefully I will have grown myself. Just used my standard tomatoes, onions, jalapenos and garlic with lemon juice mix :)

  89. Count me in! Lovely pics of the purple variety. I haven’t grown tomatillos in a few years and now I want to again. Easier than tomatoes and fun/interesting to look at!

  90. Yes, I do make homemade — it just doesn’t get any better. I like using half tomatillo and half tomato as a base blended, jalapenos and/or chilis, some lime juice for a bit of Zing, Sweet onion such as vidalia, a touch of chipoltle in adobo sauce (blended and thinned a bit, ) fresh cilantro blended, and salt to taste. Refrigerated over night allows the various flavors to marry. Fresh fried corn tortillas make it even better!

  91. If we’re grilling, I like to slow roast a whole bunch of red peppers to use in the salsa. It adds such a nice smokey flavor!

  92. My favorite thing about salsa is that it can be made out of a little of this, a little of that. Mine is always different based on what’s ripe in the garden in summer or hanging out in the cupboard in winter. I’m excited that you mentioned the
    Pasilla Bajio pepper because that’s a new one I’m trying this year and I’m eager to test it out in salsa with some tomatillos!

  93. I love making salsa. I first pan fry the tomatillos, peppers,and tomatoes and then grind them up in a mortar and pestle. It takes a long time but the flavors are amaxing. This will be my first year making a garden and i cant wait. I hope its a sucess. :)

  94. I have attempted to make my own peach salsa but it didn’t turn out the best. I’m still somewhat afraid of canning!

  95. For salsa I like to make a pico de gallo with purple Cherokee tomatoes, jalapenos, Hungarian yellow wax peppers, chives, onion, cilantro, lime, and some smoked salt. The smoked salt really brings out the flavor in the tomatoes.

  96. I love tomatillos – appreciate the tip to start early. They do self-seed and ground cherries self-seed like crazy. Easy to make salsa with tomatillos, garlic, onion or shallot, cilantro, jalapeno, salt and lime juice. Or omit the lime juice, boil the tomatillos for a few mintutes, then blend with the other ingredients plus a little of the cooking liquid, heat a little butter and cook the salsa in it for a few minutes- delicious.

  97. Count me in…I have made many a salsa in my day, but this year I am determined to make it with all home made ingredients. “I think I can….I think I can…I think I can…” Ha! That’s kind of funny! It is definitely bedtime!

  98. I made my own salsa verde this summer and canned it. It’s easy – You just need 2 lb’s of tomatillo’s, 4 jalepeno’s, 4 garlic cloves, 2 cups cilantro 1 cup red onion, cumin and oregeno. Process and there ya go!

  99. I made salsa for the first time this year from a recipe I found at tastykitchen.com. It has tomatoes, green bell peppers, onions, jalapeno peppers, garlic, cider vinegar and pickling salt. I added sugar, lime juice and cilantro. It was not hot enough for my tastes so when I open a can I add additional jalapenos. The recipe is ok but I am definitely interested in trying something new. I don’t dare buy anymore seeds this year but I might have to break down for a tomatillo!

  100. I love making my own salsa with fresh goodies from my garden every year. This year I’m planning on getting some tomatillo’s to make my hubbies fav green salsa. for my salsa I mix my peppers bell, jalapeno, anahime, serrano, and I love lots of cilantro. for the tomatoes I have found it does better when I scoop out the middle of them, because it is less juicy.

    count me into your seed contest please.

  101. I have some tomatillos I’m attempting to grow for the first time this year. This post is timely since the seeds are sitting in my desk drawer to remind me to find out how to grow them. I make my own salsa every year. I make it the “lazy way” by putting 2 cans tomatoes, 4 chopped jalapenos, several handfuls of cilantro leaves into a blender than firing it up til it gets the consistency I’m craving. If I’m feeling adventurous, I add onions and cumin.

  102. making salsa from home grown tomatoes, onions, peppers of many colors and temperatures, and tomatillos is a family tradition. I have put the special salsa seed tin on my wish list and am thrilled to have the opportunity to have my name in your giveaway.

  103. “Count Me In” I make fresh salsa once a week, I try to time it for when the picking is just right for Cilantro and tomatoes!

  104. “Count Me In!!!”

    I’m new to gardening! I’ve never been successful in growing anything. This year is going to be different! I made friends with my neighbors a few houses down and they have a large garden and are guiding me! (Including send me to this website!!!) I’m currently growing Marigolds, Cilantro and two types of Basil in my bay window!

  105. I plan to make salsa in the early fall. That way I have time to harvest and dry our first crop of peppers (purple cayenne via Seattle Seed Co) and get our tomato crop organized and ready for canning.

  106. I’m a huge fan of making fresh salsa. Just a handful of fresh ingredients mixed together and bam! Salsa! But I made canned salsa for the first time last year and it turned out ok. It’s a bit sweet, but I think it was just the peppers i used. I’m gonna give it a try again this year and hopefully be happier with the results!

    coriwestphal at msn dot com

  107. I have never made my own salsa, but I am in the process of buying a house and even though we have not closed and moved in, all I can think about is what I want to grow in my garden. Growing my own salsa ingredients is a great idea.

  108. Haven’t grown these in years. Would love to try them again now that there a lot more recipes for their use around.

  109. I usually just make a simple pico de gallo for salsa, but would like to try making a green salsa with tomatillos.

    Thank you for the post, I tried growing tomatillos in a container once, but planted several plants in the same pot, so I will try one or two this year!

  110. I’ve never made my own salsa but I’ve definitely eaten my share of salsa that other people have made. However, I’m always up for trying something new in the garden.

  111. I grew tomatillos a couple of years ago and had so many from 2 plants. I did make some salsa but it was a bit hot.

  112. Count me in! I haven’t had good luck with peppers recently…lost several plants to gophers last summer…but I have hopes of having enough bounty to make my own salsa! We love playing with the flavors the garden gives us! Yes, please!

  113. I’m new to gardening and last year was the first garden I’ve had in years. Last summer was the first time I’ve tried preserving. [I am eating my last jar of salsa now!] I prefer fresh salsa – with lots of garlic, cilantro and peppers with some heat! But the canned salsa I made last year was better than any jar salsa I’ve ever had! Last year I missed having hot peppers and tomatillos in my garden – so I’m looking forward to adding them this season. Happy gardening!

  114. I’ve never made salsa or grown tomatillos, but would love to try. I’ve done mostly balcony gardening and never had much success with tomatoes, but basil, varieties of salad, radish and lots of flowers do well. Now that we’ve bought a home, we’re just beginning with our backyard garden.

  115. Quartered cherry tomatoes, yellow too, one basket
    Diced sweet onion
    Diced jalapeño or pepper of choice, 1 to 2 depending on desired heat
    Diced avocado
    Rough chopped cilantro
    Fresh squeezed lime juice
    Salt
    Garlic powder

    Mix all ingredients and season to taste

  116. Wow – so many comments! I am going to make this the summer of the salsa – especially learning to can it. Still have not found the perfect recipe using tomatillos, but will go back and read all comments to glean new ideas. Thank you for a great discussion!

  117. count me in! ground cherries, cucumber, white onion, jalapeno, cilantro and lime juice make a quick, raw salsa (farmers mkt – my garden is not so diverse).

  118. I love your book “Grow Great Grub”! I found it at my library and liked it so my I decided to purchase it! Then I discovered your website. I am so motivated to get started with a container garden and make my own Salsa Verde, Pico de Gallo and pickeled jalapenos! Thank you for the great ideas! And for us, at the 42nd latitude, yes Tomotillos are a relatively new revalation and we are very happy to embrace these beautiful little fruits!

  119. I love growing tomatillos. They are so fun. I make my salsa just about how you do except in the oven. Great post. Thank you.

  120. My daughter loves salsa! Last year we grew tomatoes and this year we want to grow onions, peppers, and garlic (among our other vegetables) so we can learn to make salsa. :)

  121. If your salsa is too hot to take straight, use it in your soups – it adds zip and bite! Count me in Please!!!!!

  122. I make salsa with home-grown tomatoes. Everything else comes from the store:(. Sometimes, I mix in avocado and get a kind of “guacasalsa”.

  123. Please count me in. I would love to grow tomatillos, tomatoes, bell peppers, basil, green onions, garlic, eggplant, etc. With your help, I just might be able to. Thank you for this opportunity.

  124. I make a salsa w capers, olives and toms, and capers that I can and use for sword fish. I have grown tomatillos in the past, but used them to make soup.

  125. Count me in! Tomatillos are new to me, as well as the peppers you use for low-heat flavor. I will try to grow them this year just for this salsa. Would love to see some jars on the pantry shelf next year.

  126. I make all types of homemade ‘salsa’. Fresh pico is fast and easy. Roasted tomatoes and chili salsa adds a nice depth to red meat dishes. Tomatillo ‘Verde’ Salsa with lots of Cilantro makes a great marinade for fish dishes. Just writing about it makes me anxious for the garden to grow!!!

  127. I have never even attempted to make salsa verde. However, after reading this, maybe I’ll give it a try.

  128. THIS IS PERFECT! I have lost 80 pounds going to fruits and veggies. I make veggie beans with tomatillos and gralic, cilantro, onions and tomatoes in the slow cooker. I make salsa the chunky way, Pico De Gaio, with fresh ingridents and this has been one of my staples for the past year. We have a small community of cottages and last yea we gardened all of our own veggies. We are working the soil now for our spring garden and this seed collection would be such a gift to me!!! I want it so much!!! Wish me luck!! :) The only thing I buy by the bag load are the tomatillos.. Would love to try growing my own :)

  129. Fresh garden tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, tomatillos, sometimes corn, always cilantro, lime juice, sliced scallions on top. If we want more of a meal, I add avocado and sour cream. Count me in! Thanks!

  130. I make both tomato and green tomato salsa, but my family likes the green tomato salsa best. I just take all the green tomatoes at the end of the season and use them to make salsa. I would love to try it with tomatillos

  131. Yes – I love making my own salsa from the garden! I usually make more of a pico de gallo-type salsa with a rough chop on the veggies. Maybe I’m too lazy to get out the food processor! But I like the burst of flavor in every bite. Anyway, I’ve tried growing tomatillos in my garden, but I never get any fruit before winter comes. The plant is started early indoors and I plant outside after frost. I get TONS of flowers…but no fruit – not even tiny little baby tomatillos. I heard that you need two plants so they can pollinate each other….is this true?

  132. I make a standard recipe and use lime juice. I still haven’t come up with a “to die for” recipe. I want to grow tomatillos again and try them.

  133. I’ve only made salsa once, from store bought veggies. Looking forward to growing my first garden this spring and making my own dirt to table salsa!

  134. I enjoy cooking with them. haven’t made my own salsa verde yet. thank you for the chance to win this lovely give-away!

  135. The closest i’ve come to making my own salsa is using a packet of ‘salsa mix’ with fresh tomatoes. I’d love to really try making some.

  136. ***Don’t forget you need more than one plant*****I moved from FL to CO just in time to plant last year…I planted a tomatillo, because my Aunt said they grew really well here….it was Beautiful, bushy, covered in blooms and and excellent shade plant that kept my lettuces going most of the summer. I started to wonder if I was ever going to get fruit and after some research, learned you HAVE TO HAVE TWO plants!!! I scrambled and found a leggy plant at a nursery that had been pushed way to the back…although she was unsightly and required tons of support, with some love, she gave me blooms in about 2 weeks that I used to polinate the original plant with a paintbrush! Whoala! Tomatillos! Can’t wait until next year when I actually start off with 2 and don’t lose half my growing season ;) Now if I can just get the cilantro to survive this brutal mountain sun….

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