Green tomatoes are generally abundant in the fall, but this year they are especially prolific. The hot summer weather was hard on tomato plants, but once the plants recovered from the heat, they put on new growth and new tomatoes–lots and lots of new tomatoes–but not early enough for them to ripen before frost. Our tomato plants aren’t alone in this; all of the growers that I talked to at CCUA’s Hootenannysaid the same thing; everyone has big beautiful tomato plants loaded with perfect green tomatoes that just aren’t ripening.
Last year we brought lot of green tomatoes to market, and virtually no one wanted them. This is a shame, because there are many diverse and delicious ways to make good use of green tomatoes. So if you want to support local growers, think about working some green tomatoes into your cooking and maybe preserving some for the winter. For cost-conscious shoppers, learning to use green tomatoes is a good idea; the supply tends to be high and the demand low. Many growers are likely to have bulk quantities available at a very reasonable price.
Here’s a run down of some of our favorite recipes that expands on last year’s descriptions of using green tomatoes
. At the time, we made reference to a recipe for green tomatoes baked in a pie. We have since tried that recipe and can highly recommend it.
Green tomato pie
The recipe is from In a Vermont Kitchen
, p. 373 (& can be viewed in the google book preview). It makes a fantastic dessert that is very similar in flavor to an apple pie made with sour baking varieties like Granny Smith.
Canned green tomato apple pie filling
The above recipe is for fresh eating, but green tomatoes can also be included in a canned pie filling for enjoyment during the winter. The cookbook So Easy to Preserve
has just the recipe that we’ve used. We don’t reproduce unadapted cookbook recipes online, as we believe authors are entitled to their copyright, but encourage you to look up these books and/or try similar recipes wherever you can find them. It’s so nice to crack open a jar in the winter and make an easy pie sourced from the farm. Update
: It turns out this recipe is online: http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_02/can_pie/green_tomato_filling.html
Green tomato chutney
Our favorite recipe is for a green tomato apricot chutney from Sundays at Moosewood (p 317). We freeze this in small jars and enjoy it on bread all winter and spring. Joy of Cooking also has an excellent green tomato chutney recipe (p 847 in the old edition).
Pickled green tomatoes
This will be our next experiment with green tomatoes. Anyone have a favorite recipe?