We pulled our tomato plants out this past week. Both age and a small bit of blight were effecting them and they needed to go before the blight could spread. We got a great harvest from our tomatoes this year and other than a few disappointing varieties (one variety split open 9 out of 10 tomatoes) we are very pleased. I know that many people did not get such a harvest because of late blight this year so we were definitely one of the lucky ones.
As we pulled those plants out though they still had a number of green tomatoes. Some had quite large green tomatoes still but blight was slowly decaying their stems so they could not wait on the vine any longer.
What to do with all those green maters is a question each year. My husband and neighbors like them fried. I saw a good recipe earlier this year some where with fried green tomatoes with a cherry tomato salsa on top and an added basil “paste” on the side (not pesto exactly but a paste of some sort that most of us can surely figure out in our minds eye).
Beyond fried my preference is for green tomato bread and butter pickles …with onions in there. They are actually my favorite way and so I no longer grow cucumbers since I think the tomatoes make, what I consider to be, a better pickle. However…I still have enough jars left over from last year so I had to find some new ways to use the greens. I came up with the following recipes. There are a number of versions on line and these are fairly common if you know about them. These are as I made them.
Try some of them out…I have on our family and friends and everyone liked all of them.
Hopefully no matter the weather most of you will get at least a few green tomatoes to try out one or two of these recipes.
*As always with canning recipes please read and understand how to can and know your altitude for appropriate time changes to these sea level canning directions.
GREEN TOMATO JAM
(excellent on chicken sandwiches or as a side to meat. Also good with bread)
1 1/2 pounds of green tomatoes with core, stem end and seeds cut or dug out then diced –don’t worry about skins as they will blend right in and not be noticed.
2 3/4 cup granulated sugar
juice of one lemon
2 inch piece of ginger, minced
*other options are cinnamon, allspice, vanilla….play with a few batches and find the one(s) you prefer.
Combine all ingredients in a heavy medium saucepan, Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture has consistency of thick jam, at least 1 hour . Process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes or store in refrigerator.
Green Tomato Marmalade
1 lemon, thinly sliced and seeded
2 1/4 pounds green tomatoes
3 1/4cups sugar
Bring lemon slices to a boil in a pot of water. Drain. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan along with 1/4 cup water, and bring to a simmer, stirring, to dissolve sugar. Cook at a bare simmer until tomatoes and lemon slices are translucent and syrup thickens. Process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes or store in refrigerator.
Green Tomato and Jalapeño Jam
4 jalapeños, stems & seeds removed, sliced
1 to 2” section of ginger, chopped (based on your liking for ginger)
3 cloves of garlic, smashed
½ cup cider vinegar
2 tbl soy sauce
1and 1/2 lb green tomatoes (cored,seeded and chopped)
3 cups sugar
In a blender or food processor, blend the jalapenos, herbs, ginger, garlic, soy sauce and cider vinegar till smooth. Add the mixture to a heavy bottom pot with the sugar and tomatoes. Place on the heat, bring to a simmer and cook on low till glossy and thick. Process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes or store in refrigerator.
Green Tomato Chutney
(excellent as a side to grilled pork this is one of my new favorite recipes)
2 1/2 pounds firm green tomatoes, about 6 cups diced
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups cider vinegar (authentic recipes use malt vinegar also)
1 to 2 inch piece of chopped ginger
Hot pepper to taste. Use either dried or fresh. Take a sample..let it cool…then taste and adjust during cooking.
*this recipe doubles or triples easily.
Trim the stem and blossom ends from tomatoes and cut into 3/4-inch dice
Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook until thickened. This can take from 30 minutes to an 1 and ½ depending on how thick you want it.
Spoon chutney into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4-inch head space; wipe jar rims. Process for 15 minutes in boiling water bath.
Good Luck all and happy canning