Green Tomato Overload

Here we are again folks. It’s too many green tomatoes time!

Friends, I was smart and totally on top of my shit this year. I picked away at the harvest in manageable chunks rather than frantically hauling them all inside at once. But today, with the high winds and heavy rains of hurricane Sandy looming, I decided it was time to bring in as many as possible or risk loosing what remains. And so I trudged out there, dressed in boots and wind-resitant gear, basket and shears in hand, mere minutes before the weather turned nasty. I pulled in a boatload of the largest under-ripe fruit from what remained on the vines. Only the currants and a few small cherry varieties were left behind.

So far this season I’ve made:

  • zucchini and green tomato relish
  • green cherry tomatoes pickled in tarragon and lemon peel
  • sweet peppery pickled tomatoes
  • dill pickled green cherry tomatoes
  • fried green tomatoes
  • roasted green tomatoes
  • 2 lbs of green tomatoes are sweating in bowls of salt as I write this. They will be made into 2 more types of pickle.

I am about to make a batch of my famous green tomato chutney, and thoughts of a green tomato loaf have been swirling around in my mind. If the weather doesn’t damage the remaining unripe currant varieties that are still outdoors, then I will pickle them as well.

But still, I fear that this is not enough. Chances are very good that I will still have more tomatoes to put up and I am running out of ideas!

I know that green tomato pie is a big draw in the South. I have never made it before while I’d be up for it on another day, the thought of all of that cheese doesn’t interest me right now. I have made green tomato mince (for pies) in the past and still have enough stock-piled from last year to keep us in pies this holiday season. Green tomato sauce might be an option were I not happily overrun with an abundant batch of recently made salsa verde (made with tomatillos).

Beyond that I am stumped. What else can one do with green tomatoes? I’d love to hear your suggestions. Together we can win the war against the tyranny of the feracious green tomato.

p.s. It’s pretty scary out there. I can’t imagine what it must be like in places that are predicted to be hit very badly by this storm. Stay warm, dry, and safe friends.

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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12 thoughts on “Green Tomato Overload

  1. I have made smokey green tomato pickles, green tomato and ginger marmalade, green tomato and apple chutney and green tomato raspberry jam (fools children everytime!)
    I still have about 20 lbs of green tomatoes…

  2. This year I learned to make several Italian pasta sauces with green tomatoes. The more elaborate included olive oil, garlic, bacon, green tomatoes, parsley, and tuna. The more basic recipe included just the olive oil, garlic, green tomatoes, and parsley. You don’t have to peel the tomatoes, just seed and chop them. You want to be patient, but given a half hour or so of cooking, what little sugar there is in green tomatoes caramelizes nicely.

    • That sounds beyond fabulous! I live in Texas–no frost any time soon but lots of green tomatoes on the vines.

  3. the Ball book has a great recipe for green salsa using green tomatos… i also like to slice them and put them on top of a casserole. have read you can make green pasta sauce from them as well.

  4. You can make a capresse tart with tomatoes, cheese, basil and olive oil.
    It’s so good with dry tomatoes! Or instead you can cook them a very low temperature in the oven so they loose water and then they are ready to go in the tart.
    Hope u like it!

    kisses from the vegetable garden


  5. Pickled green tomatoes, or tomato relish. Have you heard of chow chow? I make mine with cabbage from a recipe by my grandmother but there are green tomato recipes out there.

  6. I didn’t make out to my garden before the storm. I see one tomato plant fell over but other than that not too bad and I live in Maryland. In the past, I have picked the green tomatoes and wait until they turn red but I love these ideas of cooking with them and I am going to try it. Thanks!

  7. I did a couple of quiches with green tomatoes last week when I pulled out the last of the summer garden, and they were surprisingly great! And if you’re trying to put things away rather than make things now, you can freeze unbaked quiches and then pull them out to go directly in the oven.

  8. I have couple of Georgian cookbooks, and they have some interesting recipes with green tomatoes. Here is one:

    Fermented green tomatoes.
    (apparently a classic side dish).
    1 kg tomatoes
    200g celery leaves
    200g parsley
    100g dill
    50g garlic
    3 cups water
    1 small hot pepper
    1 tablespoon salt
    Place tomatoes and spices in clean jars, boil brine (salt and water), let cool slightly, and pour warm brine over tomatoes. Cover jars and keep in cool place, tomatoes should be ready in 2 weeks.

  9. I make green tomato pie or crumble – follow the same recipe as apple pie, but add more sugar and maybe a bit of thickener. Looks a little funny, but tastes delicious. Easy to freeze too.

  10. My brother owns a market garden business and so I’ve picked lots of fruit & veggies in my day. But I always make a point of wrapping green tomatoes in news paper and keep them in the garage….sometimes it’s too cold and they freeze but most years I have them till Christmas. However this year the frost came too early for us and wiped out the crop too quickly… so unable to salvage any, but a few are still ripening (with spots)in my garage.

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