Fall is here and many of us still have gardens full of green tomatoes. The good news is that there are dozens of wonderful ways to put them to use.
Here are 20 fabulous ways to use green tomatoes.
1. Use them for salsa. Try roasted green tomato salsa or lacto-fermented green tomato salsa.
2. Make green tomato cake. Yes, really! Reviewers called this recipe “incredible,” “delicious” and “the best use I’ve found for green tomatoes.”
3. Make green tomato ketchup. Here is a vintage recipe from Gourmet magazine, circa 1948. Here’s a more modern recipe and here’s another modern variation.
4. Pickle them. Try Huffington Post’s No-Fuss Kosher Dill Pickled Green Tomatoes.
5. Try fried green tomatoes. It’s a classic that everybody has to try once! Here is a traditional recipe and here is a baked version.
6. Can them to fry later. Yes, you can simply slice them and can them to use all winter! Here are the instructions.
7. Make baked green tomato fries. Here is a simple recipe that comes together quickly, with a side of garlic dipping sauce.
8. Make green tomato casserole. This recipe layers bread crumbs and cheese with sliced green tomatoes, which are baked into a decadent side dish.
9. Make green tomato jalapeno sauce. Here’s a delicious recipe.
10. Stir fry them. Here’s a simple recipe for a mushroom and green tomato stir fry.
11. Use them in tacos. You can chop them and add them to your other fillings, or try something really unique like green tomato tacodillas.
12. Make green tomato pasta sauce. Reviewers of this recipe said it was “tangy, delicious, easy, and healthy” and worthy of making big batches to freeze for the winter.
13. Make green tomato chow. Here’s one recipe that uses green tomatoes, onions and apples.
14. Make fried green tomato po’boys. Southern Living developed the recipe, which involves layering fried green tomatoes, sliced avocado, lettuce, bacon and an easy Rémoulade Sauce.
15. Chop them and freeze them for later. Freeze them in one cup portions and stir them into spaghetti sauce, chili or other savory dishes. You can also use them for one cup of the fruits/veggies in gluten free mix and match snack cake for a delicious result.
16. Grill them. Here is a simple recipe for grilled green tomatoes with a garlic and brown sugar marinade.
17. Make green tomato pie. Taste of Home has a recipe that reviewers say tastes like tart apple pie.
18. Make gluten free green tomato bread. This is similar to zucchini bread and here is a simple gluten-free version.
19. Ripen them in newspaper. This is a classic homesteading trick. Wrap individual green tomatoes in sheets of newspaper and store in a box in the basement. They will slowly ripen over the next few weeks or even months. This is a great way to store them long enough to use up a large garden bounty, too.
20. Ripen them with bananas or apples. I heard years ago that you should never store fruit near bananas because it gives off a gas that hastens ripening. I thought that sounded like a perfect way to ripen tomatoes and I’ve been doing it with success ever since. I simply put them in a covered bowl or closed paper bag with some ripening bananas, to let nature speed the ripening process along. Apples also release ethylene gas, so they’ll work as well.
Keep in mind that if you try to finish ripening tomatoes inside (with any method), they will never taste as good as your fresh tomatoes that ripened on the vine. The last few days on the vine give tomatoes vitamins and flavor that cannot be matched with any false process. That’s one reason supermarket tomatoes taste so bland — they are picked green and ripened with ethylene gas in transit. (Here is an excellent scientific explanation of the ripening process if you’re interested.)
That’s a good reason to take advantage of the all-together different flavors of green tomatoes and make use of them in special ways this time of year instead.
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