The end of every gardening season leaves me with what seems like a gazillion green tomatoes. This year I put every one of them to use.
One of the challenges of gardening in the Rocky Mountain West is dealing with a short growing season–and some of them are shorter than others. At the end of every season, I have an abundance of green tomatoes that will never have the chance to ripen on the vine.
I also feel sorry for all the little yellow tomato blossoms that will never get to grow into fruit.
I always pick the green tomatoes and try to ripen as many as I can inside. If the tomatoes are a good size and have started to turn color, they’ll ripen either in a bowl on the windowsill or wrapped in newspaper and set aside in a cool, dark place.
But that still leaves a lot of little green tomatoes that won’t ripen no matter what I do to them.
This year, I forced myself to find ways to use them in the kitchen so not a single one would go to waste. It was fun to see how many different recipes I could find for frying, roasting, baking, or using them raw.
I found a really good resource on the University of Alaska’s Cooperative Extension website. After all, if anyone knows about short growing seasons, it must be the folks who garden in Alaska. It was there I found the recipe for green tomato bread.
The bread is similar to zucchini bread, but the green tomatoes give it a little unexpected kick. It was so good, I chopped up most of the remaining green tomatoes and sealed them in pre-measured quantities for freezing.
I plan on baking several more loaves of green tomato bread on cold winter days or whenever I need to remind myself that spring is on its way.