Green Tomatoes
Are Yummy Gems

The end of tomato season is soon approaching, leaving you wondering what to do with those plump, aspiring unripe tomatoes. Instead of worrying about if and when they will ripen, simply enjoy them as green tomatoes. If fried green tomatoes is the only way you've had -- or heard of -- these unripe fruit, you'll be deliciously surprised that they can be a component in jams, chutneys, salsas and even soups. Give these green tomato recipes a taste and you may just find that you like green tomatoes as much as red ones.

Green Tomatoes

Cooking green tomatoes

Because green tomatoes are not fully ripe, they can be a tad bitter and not nearly as sweet as red tomatoes. Green tomatoes won't be your first choice for a salad or sandwich, but they will become something deliciously special if you cook them.

You can certainly fry green tomatoes, but they are equally pleasing when cooked into a soup, pickled, or transformed into sauce, jam, salsa or marmalade. You can also stew green tomatoes, include them in a tomato pie, or even stuff them with tasty ingredients.

Go out to your garden, pluck those green tomatoes off the vine and use them in the following green tomato recipes or a few of your own inventive green tomato dishes. 

Green tomato recipes

Green Tomato and Squash Soup

Green Tomato and Squash Soup Makes 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients:
1 cup diced bacon
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1-1/2 cups thinly sliced green onions
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 bay leaf
2 pounds green tomatoes, chopped
1/2 pound yellow squash, diced
1 cup vegetable broth
2 cups water
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Creme fraiche

Directions:
1. Cook bacon in olive oil in a large pot over medium heat until crispy. Add green onions, garlic, and bay leaf, cooking until fragrant, about 5 to 6 minutes.

2. Add tomatoes, squash, broth, water, thyme, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes or until tomatoes are very tender.

3. Let soup cool and transfer half of it to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Pour blended soup back into pot with the rest of the soup and heat again to serve.

4. Top each bowl with a dollop of creme fraiche.

Green Tomato Salsa Verde

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients:
2 tomatillos
2 fresh jalapenos, halved, seeded
4 green tomatoes
1 large red tomato
1 medium onion, diced
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Directions:
1. Preheat broiler and line a baking sheet with foil. Remove husks from tomatillos and rinse well.

2. Cut tomatillos in half and arrange, cut side down, on the baking sheet. Broil for 5 to 6 minutes or until skin is lightly charred. Remove from oven and set aside.

3. Meanwhile, combine tomatoes and jalapenos in a pot of boiling water. Cook 15 minutes or until tender. Drain vegetables.

4. Combine jalapenos, tomatoes, tomatillos, onion, lime juice, salt, pepper, and cilantro in a blender. Pulse until thick and chunky.

5. Serve with tortilla chips or over grilled chicken or steak.

Cheesy Green Tomato Casserole

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients:
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon butter, softened
1 pound green tomatoes, thickly sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 teaspoons fresh basil, minced
1 day old French baguette, cubed and toasted
4 tablespoons shredded fontina cheese

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and coat an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Saute onion and garlic in melted butter in a skillet over medium heat until translucent and tender.

3. Arrange half of the tomato slices on the bottom of the baking dish and season to taste with salt, pepper, and basil.

4. Spoon half of the onion mixture over top of the tomatoes then top with half of the toasted bread and half of the cheese. Repeat with remaining tomatoes, onion mixture, and cheese.

5. Bake casserole 45 to 50 minutes or until cheese is melted and tomatoes are softened. Serve warm.

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