It won’t be long until the first frost claims the last brave tomato vines still full of green tomatoes. Be sure to pick these little gems while the weather is still warm.
Generations of clever cooks have learned how to make the most of these little green gems.
Green tomatoes can be baked into breads, muffins or cakes.
Green tomatoes can also be sautéed, stewed, roasted, fried, made into relish or chutney, stirred into soup, and preserved by canning or freezing.
There are hundreds of green tomato recipes available online that show I’m not the only gardener who appreciates tomatoes still tinged with green.
Here’s how to make the most of your green harvest:
After picking the green fruit, sort the tomatoes according to size and color.
Mature green tomatoes are a good size and have started to change color from green to a light white or barely pink. Because these tomatoes will eventually ripen, I wrap them individually in newspaper and keep them in a cool, dark cupboard. Over several weeks, I’ll check their progress every few days. I look forward to opening up each little bundle and always feel like I’ve won a nice prize when I find a bright red tomato hiding inside.
Stack the remaining immature green fruit in piles depending on how you plan to use them. Some of the larger ones can be cut into quarters, placed in a roasting pan, drizzled with olive oil, and slow roasted for several hours. Refrigerate these tomatoes to use as a condiment to accompany meat or curry dishes.
Freeze smaller green tomatoes by washing, coring, dicing, and measuring into convenient two-cup packets. These chopped tomatoes have a future as a tasty veggie to be tossed or blended into vegetable soup, sautéed and added to omelets or other egg recipes, simmered into stews, or baked into other dishes that benefit from their bright, piquant flavor.
With careful planning, you can enjoy your green tomatoes until it’s time to plant some more.