Monday, October 15, 2012

End of Season Harvest - What to do when frying them isn't an option

Our first killing frost was two nights ago. I knew it was coming, because I'd been watching the weather, and so, in advance of losing all of the tomato plants, I had the girls go out and pick all of the tomatoes. I told them ALL - even the green ones, and, of course, most of the ones they brought into the house are green.

I've never really dealt with green tomatoes. I like them fried, but as I'm the only one in my family, it's not a dish that I make very often. There are quite a lot of green tomatoes. In fact, I think the green tomato harvest is bigger than the red tomato harvest :).

I just can't let them go to waste. Food is food, right? Nature provides, and it's up to us to figure out what to do with her bounty.

One food my family really enjoys and eats a lot of - and in fact, is one of the few ways my family enjoys eating tomatoes - is salsa. This year, I grew peppers, but they were never quite ready at the same time as my tomatoes, and so I never got around to making any salsa with the red tomatoes.

When I saw the harvest of green ones, I thought, "why not?", and started looking for recipes for green tomato salsa.

I found several, most of which use, essentially, the same ingredients.

I also found this website with links to 25 different green tomato recipes.

If I have more tomatoes than I need for salsa, I might try out one of these others. No sense in wasting any of the harvest. Nature provides, and it's up to us to figure out what to do with her bounty.


  1. My mom makes a delicious apple and green tomato chutney, it is perfect with stir fry. I think it is in the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving.

  2. There's also the possibility of just letting them ripen. We've had freshly ripened green tomatoes at Christmas before. They must have developed their stars in order to ripen.

  3. Yeah I've read wrapping them in newsprint will help ripen them as well.
    Or you make green tomato pie! (I've always wanted to make it, but haven't because they always turn red in time!)

  4. I would think that you could use them in just about any recipe that calls for tomatillos, salsa included.

    I'm reminded of a Laura Ingalls Wilder book (I forget which), in which Ma makes green tomato pie that tastes just like apple.

    Maybe you could also use them like gooseberries? Or rhubarb? Since they are acidic, not sweet, and juicy?

  5. You can uproot the whole tomato bush, and hang it upside-down somewhere under cover. As the vine withers and dries out, it'll put its remaining energy into the tomatoes, and they'll ripen nicely.

    We pick a lot of green tomatoes and ripen them on the windowsill to beat the fruit fly and other pests. They don't taste quite as good as vine-ripened, but they're still much better than shop-bought tomatoes.

  6. I usually take the green ones in the house, put them in a box with a lit and let them ripe, after a week + they'll turn red

  7. Aunt Ella's Green Tomato Pie from Grandma Grace's Southern Favorites by Marty Davidson is awesome. truly, it tastes like apple pie. I strongly recommend this book. It has wonderful old recipes and anecdotes, along with the original fireplace recipe. It's on my top five recipe book list along with More with Less and severl others.

  8. Recipe? We don't need no recipe!

    Blanch & peel the greenies. Add garlic, cilantro, vinegar, jalapeƱos, and cumin to taste. Throw it in a blender, set to Obliterate, until everything's mixed. Chuck it in a stockpot, simmer about an hour, pour into jars and let them seal. Done!