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Delicious green tomato recipes, including preserves, appetizers, salsa, pie, cake, and traditional fried green tomatoes. Though they’re unripe, you can use these end-of-season fruits in a wide variety of food dishes! You can also bring them inside to ripen, and tips on how to do that are included here, too.
You’re probably here because something has happened that has led to a glut of green tomatoes. It could be that your plants got knocked down, they’ve been affected by blight, or it’s simply the end of the season. No matter the reason, I have a solution for you! There are ways to encourage them to ripen fully, but they’re also a fantastic ingredient for cooking with. They have crispness and body that lend themselves to hearty dishes and preserves and can even be eaten raw.
One thing to address before we continue, though. Unlike what other sources say, green tomatoes do not contain solanine, the alkaloid present in green potatoes. According to Dr. Mendel Friedman of the federal Department of Agriculture, this is a “chemical gaffe” perpetrated by government sources and mom-and-pop blogs alike. So dig in and enjoy this collection of the best green tomato recipes on the web!
What are Green Tomatoes
Most tomato varieties ripen to be red, orange, yellow, and even purple, but there are a few varieties that stay green. They include Green Zebra, Emerald Apple, and Green Pear and taste just as great as their more vibrant cousins. However, when we speak about green tomatoes, we tend to mean something else.
Green tomatoes are unripe tomatoes and tend to be green in color, hard, and taste sour. They’re also perfectly edible and are delicious in many creative recipes – we’ll get to those in a moment. If you grow tomatoes, you’ll have loads of them at times and have the challenge of figuring out what to do with them. Usually, this happens towards the end of the growing season, when temperatures drop and tomatoes stop ripening outdoors.
How to Ripen Green Tomatoes
Although green tomatoes are great for cooking with, they’re also easy to ripen if you’d prefer to do that. The important thing to know is that unripe tomatoes will ripen if kept at a consistent 68-77°F (20-25°C). They don’t need to be attached to the plant, either, and they don’t need light, watering, or extra nutrients. To ripen green tomatoes, bring them indoors and place them in a single layer at the bottom of a cardboard box. Keep them at a warm temp and out of direct sunlight, and they’ll change from green and hard to ripe and juicy in just a matter of days. It’s simple.
The Best Green Tomato Recipes
When you use green tomatoes in recipes, they add body, crunch, and zing to recipes but don’t have as much of the umami flavor as ripe tomatoes do. If you’ve ever had tomatillos, they have a similar texture and flavor. When you’re cooking with green tomatoes in savory dishes, use other ingredients, such as malt vinegar and soy sauce, to bring umami to the table. Otherwise, you can use them to bulk up recipes ranging from chutney to cake. My hands-down favorite way to use them is in green tomato chutney.
If you’re going to make one recipe, though, you do need to try fried green tomatoes. They’re wickedly delicious and simple to make! You cut large green tomatoes into quarter-inch slices and marinate them in buttermilk, salt, pepper, and other spices. Then dredge them in all-purpose flour, an egg mixture, and a breadcrumb mixture, and fry them in a pan of hot vegetable oil until golden brown. Drain the excess oil off on a paper towel and enjoy with remoulade sauce for an authentic Southern experience.
Green Tomato Chutney
A rich and savory preserve made with malt vinegar and sweet red onions. Great with cheese, meats, and sandwiches.
Fried Green Tomatoes
The classic southern dish you make by frying tomato slices in flour, spices, breadcrumbs, or cornmeal.
Green Tomato Relish
A sweet and sour preserve delicious on burgers, sausages, hotdogs, and cheese.
Green Tomato Salsa
A spicy and zingy fresh salsa verde made with green tomatoes, cilantro, and lime.
Green Tomato Soup
An oniony and garlicky soup with green tomatoes and broth.
Green Tomato Pie
A cheesy and delicious version of a traditional tomato pie.
A delicious spice cake that you wouldn’t know was made with green tomatoes.
Roasted green tomatoes form the heart of this incredibly delicious pasta sauce.
Pickled Green Tomatoes
Preserve slices in a vinegar brine to enjoy in fresh salads and appetizers.
Hare Tamatar Ki Sabji
A sweet and spicy Vegan curry made with simple Indian spices.
More Green Tomato Recipes
I think you have quite a few recipe ideas now for your glut of unripe tomatoes. The ideas range from hiding them in sweet and spicy cake to pickling them in all of their glory! I think the best way to use them in the kitchen is in roasted or slow-cooked dishes like chutney, pie, pasta sauce, or curry. Also, when you roast green tomatoes, their texture and flavor mellow out, and their savory characteristic has a chance to sing.
If you have a favorite way to prepare them that I haven’t already covered, please leave a comment below with your recommendations! And for more green tomato recipes, head over to this Pinterest board. I have a good collection there already, but I’ll keep adding to it when I find recipes that I’d like to try or have already tried and can recommend. Lastly, you can also learn more about ripening green tomatoes and cooking with them in the video below. I share a little more about when it’s the right time to take down tomato plants for the season and exactly how I use and ripen green tomatoes at home.