Last year in my garden, shortly after I had planted my tomatoes, I found new strong-going regularly-arranged never-seen-before sorts of weeds. I started pulling them off then decided to keep a few, by curiosity.
They became stronger and larger and I started asking around what they could be. When they became covered with small yellow flowers, resembling potatoes’ flowers, we knew they were solanacees. Nightshade family I was told, very toxic plant. Then a friend recognized them as physalis and the next day, they displayed some capsules confirming this diagnostic. Toxic yes, but when the fruits are ripe, they are edible.
Where did they possibly come from?! I sort of remembered that two years ago, I had bought a punnet of tomatillos from the Mediterranean Market, and I had thrown the last three of them in the compost. I had added some compost when planting the tomatoes… That’s where they came from.
And they grew and grew and produced more than 3 kilos of fruits each, making it a quite productive plant, worthwhile considering in our climate. The fruits are ripe when they fill in the capsule. I looked for recipes and made some salsa verde, which did not look too good but had an interesting taste with Mexican food.
The recipe we preferred was with prawns and coconut milk, to accompany rice.
I am so pleased I did not kill them. I kept some seeds and grow them again this year. This time willingly, therefore I plan for some space around them!
The detailed recipe is here but basically, we brown one onion and a few garlic cloves in oil, then add sliced washed tomatillos then frozen shrimps. Cook for 15 mn-ish. When the mixture is drying in the pan, add coconut milk. Season with pepper, lemon and coriander. Add feta pieces. Serve with rice. Delicious!