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Cherry Tomato, Radish, Tomatillo and Cucumber Salad with Radish Green Dressing



Tomatillo: Overview, History, Culinary Uses, and Nutrition History:


The tomatillo (Physalis philadelphica) is a small, spherical fruit encased in a papery husk, belonging to the nightshade family, closely related to the tomato. It is native to Mexico and was cultivated by the Aztecs and Mayas, playing a significant role in their cuisine. Tomatillos have been a staple in Mexican and Central American cooking for centuries, dating back to before the arrival of Europeans in the New World.


Eating and Uses in the Kitchen: Tomatillos are known for their tart, lemony flavour, which can range from mild to moderately sour. They are a key ingredient in many traditional Latin American dishes, including salsas, soups, and stews. The most famous use of tomatillos is in salsa verde, a green sauce that often includes cilantro, lime, and chili peppers. To prepare tomatillos for cooking, the papery husk is removed, and the fruit is washed to remove the sticky residue on the skin. They can be used raw, boiled, roasted, or grilled, each method bringing out different aspects of their flavour. Raw tomatillos add a fresh, tangy zest to salsas, while cooking them softens their acidity and brings out a sweeter, more complex flavour.


Nutritional Profile: Tomatillos are low in calories but rich in nutrients, making them a healthy addition to any diet. Here is a brief overview of their nutritional benefits: Vitamins: They are a good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and niacin. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that supports the immune system, while vitamin K is essential for blood clotting and bone health. Niacin (vitamin B3) is important for converting food into energy.


Minerals: Tomatillos contain important minerals like potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure, and manganese, which is involved in bone formation and the metabolism of amino acids, cholesterol, and carbohydrates. Dietary Fiber: They provide dietary fiber, which is beneficial for digestive health. Antioxidants: Tomatillos are rich in antioxidants, including lutein and zeaxanthin, which are important for eye health, and various flavonoids that have anti-inflammatory properties.



Ingredients

  • 1 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 1 cup radishes, thinly sliced

  • 1 cup cucumber, thinly sliced

  • 2 tomatillos, and diced

  • 1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced (optional)

  • 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled (optional)

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Radish Green Dressing:

  • 1 cup radish greens (Tops), thoroughly washed

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

  • 1 TSP Honey 

  • 1 garlic clove

  • Salt and pepper to taste


Directions

  • Prepare the Salad: In a large bowl, combine the cherry tomatoes, radishes, cucumber, diced tomatillos, and red onion. If using, add feta cheese on top.

  • Make the Dressing: In a blender, combine the radish greens,  olive oil, white wine vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth.

  • Dress the Salad: Drizzle the radish green dressing over the salad and toss gently to ensure everything is evenly coated. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper according to taste.

  • Serve: Allow the salad to rest for 10-15 minutes before serving to let the flavours blend together.

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