Green tomatoes are the unsung gems of the garden! Their firmness and tart flavor make them perfectly suitable for all kinds of dishes that our grandmas used to make but we’ve lost touch with.
Of course there are always green tomatoes at the end of the season when we rush to pick before frost ruins them. This year the weather stalled the natural ripening process of our tomatoes, leaving the vines too heavy with dozens of unripened fruit that they can’t support. Plus, several of our older heirloom tomatoes have a tendency to “cat-face” or have funny splits and crevices that can rot the fruit as it ripens, so we pick them green. What to do? Enter: the green tomato recipes!
Fried Green Tomatoes have to be my favorite way to prepare green tomatoes. I learned a very old and simple way to make them that isn’t a typical recipe, but I’ll try my best to describe the method. Slice green tomatoes thinly and set aside. In a small bowl mix equal parts flour and corn meal and set aside. In another bowl mix together an egg or two (depending on how many slices you’re frying) with a splash of milk. Prepare a hot skillet or pan with lard, butter, or oil. Dip each tomato slice first into the egg mixture, then dredge in the flour/corn meal mix. Place each prepared slice in the pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Fill the pan with slices only one layer deep, brown on both sides, then turn the heat down and cover. Test the slices for doneness by poking with a fork or knife. Once the tomato slice’s firmness is gone, it’s ready to take off the heat and devour!
Pickled Green Tomato Relish is a delicious treat that most people haven’t had the chance to enjoy. There are so many good recipes out there, you can’t really go wrong. But here is a link to my favorite recipe: https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/pickled-green-tomato-relish/ . Feel free to cut this one in half if you’re just trying it out.
If you’re feeling bold, try a Green Tomato Tarte Tatin from Mrs. Portly’s Kitchen (although you’ll need to convert from metric, Google is your friend and it’s well worth it!): https://mrsportlyskitchen.com/2020/09/25/green-tomato-tarte-tatin/
Green Tomato Salsa Verde is probably the quickest recipe, and we grow nearly all the ingredients right here on our farm! Substitute the serrano peppers with any of ours, which allows you to control how hot it ends up. Of course, we have the hot peppers if you can take the heat – try the Goat Horn Cayenne! Here’s the link: https://yupitsvegan.com/green-tomato-salsa-verde/
Any way you slice them, green tomatoes are versatile and delicious!