Well, we need to face facts. We may get a few more ripe ones during this warm weekend, but most of us in the Willamette Valley will be stuck with bushels of unripe tomatoes this year.
Suzi Busler, the fearless leader of our Master Food Preserver program in Lane & Douglas Counties, recently held a green tomato class in Roseburg. These are her notes on recipes for cooking and preserving the little monsters:
Green Tomato Chutney – outstanding….best chutney I’ve tasted. Recipe came out of Ball Complete book [ed: see below];
Green Tomato Salsa — used the tomatillo recipe – was excellent [ed: see below];
Dilled Green Tomatoes – a pickle recipe in Ball Complete book [ed: see below; also in Ball Blue Book];
Green Tomato Pie Filling – good [ed: this and more tested recipes are in the Lane County Extension “Green Tomato” publication LC 369];
Fried Green Tomatoes – Slices of green tomato, dip in egg, dredge in flour, dredge in Italian Seasoned Bread crumbs, fry in oil, sprinkle salt, pepper, a little cayenne pepper and sour cream…yum;
Oven Roasted Green Tomatoes – slices of tomatoes, cookie sheet, brush with olive oil, salt/pepper and crushed garlic. Cook in slow, warm oven (200°F) for 4-6 hours till leathery.
Green Tomato Chutney
Yield: 7 pints
Adapted from The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving
16 cups sliced, cored, peeled green tomatoes
½ cups canning salt
3 tablespoons pickling spice
4 cups white vinegar
16 cups chopped, cored, peeled apples (tart, firm)
3 medium yellow or white onions, chopped
3 green bell peppers, seeded and chopped
6 cups lightly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder
In a large glass or stainless steel bowl, layer tomatoes and pickling salt. Add cold water to cover. Cover and refrigerate for 12 hours or overnight.
Transfer tomatoes to a colander placed over a sink. Rinse well with cold water and drain thoroughly.
Peel, core, and chop apples. Add to vinegar to prevent browning.
Tie pickling spice in a square of cheesecloth, creating a spice bag. Set aside.
In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine vinegar and apples, drained tomatoes, onions, and green peppers. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and boil for 30 minutes, stirring frequently.
Stir in brown sugar and return to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring frequently for 30 minutes.
Add reserved spice bag and chili powder and stir well. Boil gently, stirring frequently, until thick enough to mound on a spoon, about 30 minutes. Discard spice bag.
Sterilize jars, and prepare rings and lids according to safe practices (see canning book if you do not know how to do this).
Ladle hot chutney into hot jars, leaving ½ inch head space. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot chutney. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to finger tight.
Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Cover the canner, bring to boil, and process jars for 15 minutes. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove the jars, cool, label and store in cool dark place.
For best quality, consume within one year.
Green Tomato Salsa
Yield: 5 pints.
Ed note: because you can swap out tomatillos for regular tomatoes and green tomatoes for tomatillos in salsa recipes, according to Extension, I assume this means green tomatoes can be swapped out for regular tomatoes. Go, 9th grade math knowledge! Adapted from tomatillo salsa recipe in Extension’s “Tomatillos” publication SP 50-768.
5 cups chopped green tomatoes
2 cups seeded, chopped jalapenos
4 cups chopped white onions
1 cup bottled lemon juice
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon canning salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan and stir frequently over high heat until
mixture begins to boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Prepare jars and lids.
Ladle hot salsa into hot pint jars, leaving ½ inch headspace. Adjust lids and process in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes.
Dilled Green Tomatoes
Ed note: I make these green tomato sliced pickles each year. I find these work better than fermenting whole tomatoes, no matter how small they are, since I have not had great luck with flavor and texture (too hard and crunchy). Slicing tomatoes will slightly decrease the yield. Adapted from The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving.
Yield: 5 to 6 pints.
3 1/2 cups white distilled vinegar
3 1/2 cups water
¼ cups canning salt
5 lbs. small, firm, green tomatoes, sliced, halved or quartered, or green cherry tomatoes
6 cloves garlic
6 teaspoons pickling spice (separated, one t. per jar)
6 teaspoons brown mustard seed (separated, one t. per jar)
6 heads fresh dill
Prepare canner, jars, lids. Keep jars hot. Yield may be smaller than 6 pints, but prepare 6 just to be sure.
Slice or quarter your tomatoes. You may half smaller tomatoes. Keep cherry tomatoes whole. Try to separate tomato pieces by size, i.e., keep cherries together and slices together, for the best quality produce.
In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine vinegar, water and pickling salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve salt. Remove from heat.
Add 1 clove garlic, 1 head dill, 1 teaspoon each of pickling spice and mustard seed to each hot jar. Pack raw tomatoes into hot jars to within a generous ½ inch of top of jar.
Ladle hot pickling liquid into jar to cover tomatoes, leaving ½ inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot pickling liquid. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.
Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to boil and process for 15 minutes.
Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool, label and store cool, dry dark place. For best quality, consume within one year.
Whew! My green tomatoes are done for the year, but here are all my ideas for green tomatoes. Try:
- pork/green tomato ragu with pinenuts and raisins
- green tomato mole
- Thai hot and sour green tomato stirfry with fish
- Punk Domestics’ collection of green tomato recipes for canning
- my fermented green tomato chowchow relish
- a collection of tested recipes from the Master Food Preservers.