Most of us have heard of the classic early season dish, fried green tomatoes. Truth be told, though, there are many, many delicious ways to use green tomatoes. And no, it’s not just something to do while you wait for red tomatoes—green tomatoes used in dishes and preserving are worth the effort in their own right. In fact, it’s well worth your while to start considering your green tomatoes as a whole other vegetable or crop (or fruit, since yes, technically, tomatoes are fruit).
- Why Green Tomatoes?
- When To Pick Green Tomatoes for Cooking and Preserving
- Freezing Green Tomatoes
- Drying Green Tomatoes
- Using Green Tomatoes in Tomatillo Recipes
- Green Tomato Dishes, Sides, and Casseroles
- Green Tomato Sauces and Condiments
- Green Tomato Salsas
- Green Tomato Desserts
- Green Tomato Canning and Preserving Recipes
- Design-Your-Own Green Tomato Recipe
Why Green Tomatoes?
One of the first and best reasons to use green tomatoes is flavor variety. Green tomatoes simply taste different than red, ripe tomatoes, and so they offer you one more produce profile to work with, without needing more space for a new vegetable or variety. Extend your harvest variety without expanding your garden—maximize your garden space and crop harvests!
Green tomatoes are also a great way to maximize tomato use overall. We tend to have abundances of green tomatoes in both the early season and late season. Early in the season, this lets us get going using our homegrown tomatoes much earlier and get a jump on using your tomatoes while you’re waiting for red ripe.
Late in the season, green tomato recipes give us a way to use tomatoes that won’t have enough time left to ripen as the weather changes and the season ends. No need to leave these green beauties to wither and die on the vine! This is also true if weather and disease are causing issues for your tomatoes and you fear they won’t make it to ripe stage.
Green tomatoes are excellent when used in traditional Southern U.S., Mexican, and Italian dishes (among others). They are also a good substitute for tomatillos, which may be less available to you.
When To Pick Green Tomatoes for Cooking and Preserving
Choose tomatoes that are around the size you would expect for your mature, ripe fruits. Pick tomatoes that are not hard—give a little squeeze; they should be firm but have some give. You are aiming for tomatoes in the intermediate stage of ripening, between completely unripe and before they start to ripen and turn color. These tomatoes are a bit lighter in green color than completely unripe fruit. They should have a bit of gloss and shine, not the flat dull green of very young tomatoes.
The biggest reason to pick tomatoes in this in-between stage is the firmness of the fruit. Very young tomatoes will be hard and small. Ripening tomatoes will be too soft to give you the best consistency when cooking and frying. There is nothing wrong with these tomatoes, mind you, they just don’t deliver the right firmness you want in cooked green tomato products.
Freezing Green Tomatoes
Green tomatoes can be frozen for future use in most recipes.
Use good-quality green tomatoes. Wash, core, then slice into ¼- to ½-inch thick slices. Bag or freeze in plastic freezer containers. For best results, place a layer of freezer paper or wax paper between each slice.
Drying Green Tomatoes
Drying (or dehydrating) green tomatoes is a good way to store them. They can easily be rehydrated for use in fried tomatoes, casseroles, soups, sauces, and baking. Dried green tomatoes store easily, take up less space, and do not risk losses due to power outages or freezer failure.
Wash tomatoes, then cut them into either ½-inch slices or in ½-inch chunks. Chunks should be dried on a dehydrator screen placed on the regular rack. Slices are large enough to be dried directly on your dehydrator rack. Dry at 145F for 8 to 12 hours or until done. Green tomatoes will have a leathery to crisp texture when dried. Chunks will feel springy to the touch.
Green tomatoes can also be dried in the sun on a screen or in the oven at 145F (62C).
When you want to use your dried green tomatoes, add them straight into soups and stews with liquid, or into pasta water while the pasta is cooking (they will rehydrate from the liquid quite easily). To rehydrate to use them like fresh green tomatoes, spread the tomatoes out on a baking sheet and spray them with warm water. Let sit for 30 minutes, turn, and spray again. Let sit for 30 minutes more, then use. To rehydrate dried green tomato chunks, cover with warm water, soak for one hour, then drain.
Using Green Tomatoes in Tomatillo Recipes
There are almost limitless ways to use green tomatoes. The options clearly go far beyond the well-known fried version (not to take away from those tasty favorites!). In addition to the recipes and uses listed here, green tomatoes can be used interchangeably in almost any recipe that calls for tomatillos, including so many wonderful traditional Mexican dishes. This is good news for people who may live in an area where fresh, local tomatillos are not readily available.
To use green tomatoes in place of tomatillos in a recipe, select firm, thick, under-ripe tomatoes. Tomatillos can be more tart in flavor than green tomatoes, so it is often recommended that you add a splash of lime juice to your dish along with the tomatoes. Otherwise, green tomatoes are a great substitute or change to a tomatillo recipe and offer a quite similar flavor profile with the same consistency as tomatillos.
Green Tomato Dishes, Sides, and Casseroles
Fried Green Tomatoes
It’s the classic way to cook green tomatoes, and no list would be complete without it so we’ll start with the tried-and-true, Fried Green Tomatoes.
- 3 or 4 large green tomatoes
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 2 large eggs
- ½ teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper (or to taste)
- canola oil for frying
Line a baking sheet with wax paper. As you prepare the tomato slices, place them on the sheet until ready for frying.
Slice tomatoes about ½ inch thick.
Beat the eggs in a shallow bowl. Put all the flour in one shallow dish (pie plates work well) and all the corn meal in a second shallow plate. Mix the salt and pepper into the cornmeal.
For each slice, dip first into the flour, then the beaten egg, then the cornmeal. Be sure to cover each side completely at each step. Repeat until all slices are prepared. Layer singly on the wax paper until ready to fry.
Heat about ¼ to ½ inch canola oil in your frying pan. Fry tomatoes in batches in single layers, three minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels and serve warm.
*You can spice up this simple fried green tomato recipe by adding your favorite spice mix to taste.
Using Fried Green Tomatoes in Other Dishes
Once made, fried green tomatoes aren’t just for eating alone. You can use them (or the leftovers) in several other dishes. Try Fried Green Tomato Burritos or add them to salads, like this Bibb Salad recipe. They’re excellent as a snack or appetizer when dipped in a creamy dressing (try Ranch dressing!). Fried green tomatoes can also be used to top sandwiches and burgers—use your imagination!
Baked “Fried” Green Tomatoes
For a healthier version of the classic Fried Green Tomatoes, try this baked version!
- 4 to 5 large green tomatoes
- 2 cups flour
- 1 ¼ teaspoons sea salt
- ¾ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 ½ cups plain yogurt
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 2 cups Panko bread crumbs (may substitute regular bread crumbs or Italian seasoned bread crumbs)
- Olive oil or cooking spray
Slice tomatoes into ¼ inch slices.
Mix flour, salt, and pepper together in a shallow dish (a pie plate works well). Mix the buttermilk and yogurt together in another dish. Put bread crumbs in a third shallow dish.
Coat both sides of each tomato slice in the flour, then dip in the yogurt and buttermilk blend. Next, coat both sides with the bread crumbs.
Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray or olive oil. Place prepped tomato slices on the coated baking sheet. Spray the top of the slices with more baking spray, or drizzle with olive oil.
Bake at 350F (176C) for 6-7 minutes, then flip and bake an additional 6-7 minutes on the other side. Serve warm with salt to taste.
Green Tomato Casserole
- 5 large green tomatoes
- 2 stalks celery
- 1 large onion (green onions, scallions, or chives work well, too)
- ¾ cup fresh chopped cilantro
- ⅓ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- (optional) bread crumbs to top
Cut tomatoes into one-inch chunks. Dice celery and onions. Chop cilantro.
Preheat oven to 350 F (176 C).
Lightly wipe the inside of a two-quart casserole dish with olive oil. Mix all the vegetables and cilantro together in the dish.
In a separate bowl, whisk to combine the remaining ingredients. Pour the mixture over the vegetables in the casserole dish. Stir lightly to coat all vegetables.
If desired, sprinkle bread crumbs (seasoned or unseasoned) over the top of the dish.
Bake in 350F (176C) oven for 45 minutes or until tomatoes are tender.
Italian Green Tomatoes
- 3 large green tomatoes (or enough to get 12 green tomato slices)
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1 large egg
- 3 tablespoons flour
- ⅔ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- ½ cup canola oil, divided
- ¼ onion, finely chopped
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt, divided
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
Preheat oven to 350F (176C). Lightly grease a 2-quart casserole dish.
Beat the egg. Combine the flour and ½ teaspoon salt in a separate bowl.
Heat ⅔ cup oil in a heavy skillet. Dip the tomato slices in the egg, then the flour mixture. Coat both sides. Fry the green tomato slices in a single layer on each side for about 3 minutes, or until nicely browned.
When all tomato slices are fried, let the skillet cool, then wipe it clean with a paper towel. Using the remaining oil, sauté the onions until transparent. Add the tomato sauce, sugar, oregano, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Layer the fried tomatoes in the casserole dish in a single layer, then sprinkle all over with the cheese. Repeat layers until all the fried tomatoes are used. Pour the tomato sauce over the layered green tomato slices, then top with additional cheese. Bake at 350F for 20 to 25 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
*This is a great recipe to make with rehydrated dried green tomatoes (see below on drying green tomatoes to preserve them). It is also a great way to use up leftover fried green tomatoes!
Green Tomatoes and Okra
- 12 green tomato slices (about 3 large green tomatoes)
- ½ onion, sliced
- 1 cup chopped ripe tomatoes (sub extra green if unavailable)
- 1 cup sliced okra
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons fresh parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
Place tomatoes and okra together in a pot. Add water just to cover. Bring the water to a boil, reduce heat, and then simmer for 4 minutes or until done to desired consistency. Stir in butter, salt, and pepper. Top with parsley.
*A great recipe for dehydrated green tomatoes.
Green Tomato Stew
- 2 large green tomatoes
- 16 curry leaves (or can exchange for the zest of 2 fresh limes)
- ¼ cup water
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 2 jalapeno peppers
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream (or coconut milk)
Cut jalapenos in half lengthwise and de-seed.
Heat a little oil in pan and add the mustard seeds, curry leaves (or lime zest) and peppers. Sauté for about half a minute, then add the diced tomatoes. Add the remaining spices and ¼ cup water. When water boils, place a lid on the pan, turn heat to medium-high, and cook for about
5 minutes (until tomatoes are softened).
Add the cream (or coconut milk) to the pan and reduce heat to medium. Salt to taste. Heat through but do not allow the stew to boil. Stir frequently while heating.
Green Tomato Fritters
- 3 large green tomatoes
- 1 ½ cups flour
- 1 teaspoon onion powder (may substitute garlic powder)
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt (more or less to taste)
- canola oil for frying
Dice tomatoes. Mix dry ingredients together in a separate bowl and then add the tomatoes. Stir well to combine. Press the mixture into small patties.
Heat oil in a heavy two-quart pot to 350 F (176C). Fry the patties for 4 minutes, until golden brown, Drain on paper towels.
Seasoned Grilled Green Tomatoes
Cut green tomatoes into ½ inch slices. Coat both sides of the tomato slices in olive oil (may substitute canola or vegetable oil). Sprinkle both sides with sea salt and your favorite seasoning blend—Italian seasoning or Cajun seasoning are good choices.
Preheat your grill. It is best to use a small screen or aluminum foil on large, open grill racks. Spray the grill/screen/or foil with cooking spray or coat with oil, then grill the seasoned tomato slices for three minutes on each side. Serve warm. These seasoned grilled tomatoes also make a tasty burger or sandwich topping.
Green Tomato Sauces and Condiments
Green tomatoes can be used to make sauces and condiments, too. Use them on burgers or sausages, pasta, or enchiladas…anywhere you think a green tomato sauce might go well!
Green Tomato Ketchup
- 6 large green tomatoes
- 3 medium onions
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground pepper
- ½ tablespoon ground mustard
- 1 teaspoon pickling spice
- ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon bottled lemon juice
Rough chop green tomatoes and onions. Place in a Crock Pot or slow cooker (or large, heavy-bottomed pot if cooking on stovetop). Add Worcestershire sauce, pepper, and mustard. Tie pickling spices in a small square of cheesecloth and add to the tomato mixture. Pour vinegar over the ingredients and stir to combine.
Cook on low for six hours, stirring periodically to prevent sticking. If a thicker sauce is desired, cook longer to reduce (skew the pot cover to allow moisture to escape).
Remove from heat. Remove the bag of pickling spices. Use an immersion blender or food processor and blend the mixture until smooth and uniform.
For a smooth ketchup without seeds, strain through a mesh strainer (skip this step if you don’t mind the seeds). Put the strained mixture into a heavy-bottomed pot. Add sugar and lemon juice. Bring to a boil.
Pour into eight-ounce jelly jars and cap. Let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate to store.
*This ketchup recipe may be canned (feel free to double it for canning!). If canning, process in 8-ounce jars in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.
Green Tomato Sauce
- 3 medium green tomatoes (1 pound)
- 3 jalapeno peppers
- ½ medium onion
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
- ⅛ cup white wine vinegar
- 1 ½ tablespoons lime juice
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ cup corn or canola oil
- salt to taste
Cut green tomatoes into quarters. Cut peppers in half lengthwise and de-seed. Quarter onion. Lightly oil a cooking sheet. Place tomatoes, onions, peppers, and garlic on the sheet and roast in a 395F (200C) oven for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
Put roasted vegetables in a food processor or blender. Add vinegar, cilantro, lime juice, cumin, and salt. Blend until smooth. With the processor running, slowly drizzle the oil in, continuing to blend as the sauce emulsifies and thickens (takes about 5 minutes). Use immediately or refrigerate for up to one week.
Use on pasta, for dipping, on tacos, meat, vegetables, or to replace common condiments.
Green Tomato Enchilada Sauce
For a slightly different flavor, try roasting the ingredients before making your enchilada sauce. Roast at 400F (205C) for 25 minutes.
- 2 ½ cups green tomatoes, chopped
- 1 cup broth (vegetable or chicken)
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 4 fresh chili peppers, de-seeded and chopped
- ½ onion, chopped
- 3 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
Sauté onions in a small amount of oil over medium-high heat until translucent (about 5 minutes). Add garlic and sauté for one minute. Add all other ingredients except the cilantro. Bring to a simmer and simmer for about 10 minutes, until vegetables break down and mixture starts to look sauce-like.
Using a blender, immersion blender, or food processor, add the cilantro and blend until smooth. Use immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Green Tomato Salsas
Use them for dipping, snacking, or topping—green tomato salsas are a nice twist on the standard.
Roasted Green Tomato Salsa (Salsa Verde with Green Tomatoes)
- 2 large green tomatoes
- 1 small green pepper (use sweet peppers for mild salsa, jalapeno for spicy)
- 1 half onion
- ½ cup fresh cilantro
- ¼ cup lime juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
Spray a baking sheet with baking spray (or coat with oil). Cut tomatoes into quarters. Halve peppers. Lay tomatoes, peppers, and onions on the baking sheet. Roast at 400F (205C) for 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and transfer to a food processor or blender. Pulse to rough chop. Add cilantro, juice, and salt, and pulse/chop to combine.
Transfer to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate. The salsa will thicken as it cools.
Green Tomato Salsa Canning Recipe
If you’re looking for a green tomato salsa that can be canned to preserve, this is it.
- 5 pounds green tomatoes (about 6-8), chopped
- 5 onions (to equal 4 cups chopped)
- ½ cup chopped jalapeno peppers (½ cup)
- 3 or 4 chopped large sweet peppers (such as green or red bell—2 cups chopped)
- 8 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
- 1 cup fresh chopped cilantro
- 1 cup lime juice
- ½ cup white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon dry oregano
- 2 teaspoons ground pepper
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons sugar
Combine all ingredients together in a large pot. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 40 minutes. Stir regularly to prevent sticking.
To can, process sterilized pint jars in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes.
Green Tomato Pico de Gallo (Fresh Green Tomato Salsa)
- 2 large green tomatoes
- ½ onion
- 1 fresh jalapeno pepper (de-seeded)—for mild Pico de Gallo, use sweet bell or Italian pepper
- juice of 1 lime
- 3-4 sprigs fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
Chop the tomatoes, pepper, onion, and cilantro. Combine together in a bowl and add lime juice and sea salt (more or less to taste). Serve immediately or let sit in refrigerator to blend flavors. Will last several days covered in the refrigerator.
Green Tomato Desserts
Believe it or not, there are even things you can do with green tomatoes to make a dessert! When baked (with sugar and spices), green tomatoes take on a flavor quite close to apples. Try it out on this green tomato pie or cake recipe!
Green Tomato Pie
pie crust for double-crust pie (a lard crust will really round out the flavors in this pie!)
- 6 green tomatoes (about 2 pounds)
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- ½ cup golden raisins
- ½ cup flour
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon orange peel
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
Preheat oven to 350F (176C).
Wash tomatoes, then cut in half and slice into ¼-inch slices. Put the tomato slices in a medium mixing bowl, then add the sugar, raisins, cinnamon, cloves, orange peel, and flour. Stir to combine, then add the apple cider vinegar. Mix through.
Prepare bottom pie crust. Fill with prepared filling, then dot with the butter. Fix and crimp top crust. Poke in several places to vent (or make a lattice crust). For a shiny crust, brush with a beaten egg and then sprinkle with sugar all over the top crust.
Bake at 350F for one hour, or until top crust is golden brown. Cool before serving. May be served with whipped cream or ice cream.
Green Tomato Spice Cake
- 4 cups finely chopped green tomatoes (about 2 pounds)
- 2 cups sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
- 2 cups flour
- 1 stick (½ cup) butter, softened
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
Finely chop green tomatoes (may chop in food processor but don’t over-process). Place chopped tomatoes in a medium-sized mixing bowl and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of sugar. Let sit for about 15 minutes, then rinse and drain in a colander. Use paper towels to absorb the excess water.
Preheat oven to 350F (176C). Grease and flour a 9x13 cake pan.
Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture one at a time, beating to combine each time.
Sift the remaining dry ingredients and spices together in a separate bowl, then mix into the butter and egg mixture. Fold in the chopped tomatoes. Pour into the prepared pan and bake at 350F (176C) for 45 to 55 minutes, until done (a toothpick inserted in the middle should come out
Delicious topped with cream cheese frosting.
Green Tomato Canning and Preserving Recipes
Green tomatoes can be preserved just like any other fruit or vegetable. They can be frozen, canned, or dried. Plain preserved green tomatoes can then be used in many of the recipes included here. Other versions (like pickles and relishes) are a dish or condiment in themselves, ready to use as a side or topping. Here are some great ways to preserve and serve green tomatoes.
Green Tomato Relish (Piccalilli)
about 35 medium green tomatoes
- 1 large head cabbage
- 4 small chopped sweet green peppers
- 1 medium onion
- 1 ½ cups brown sugar
- ½ cup salt (non-iodized)
- 2 tablespoons mustard seed
- 1 tablespoon celery seed
- 1 tablespoon horseradish
- 4 ½ cups vinegar
Peel, core, and chop green tomatoes. Chop cabbage. Chop peppers and onion.
Combine chopped vegetables, then sprinkle with the salt. Let stand for 3 to 4 hours, then place in a colander and drain completely, pressing to remove excess liquid.
Combine the vinegar, brown sugar, and horseradish in a large pot. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the drained vegetables and bring the entire mixture to a boil. Remove from heat.
Pack hot into sterilized one-pint jars. Leave ¼ inch headspace. Fit lids and rings. Process 10 minutes in a boiling water bath canner. Makes 6 to 7 pints.
Green Tomato Chutney
- 6 cups (about 2+ pounds) green tomatoes
- 6 cups chopped red onions (about 2+ pounds)
- 1 cup raisins
- 4 cloves garlic
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- 2 teaspoons salt (non-iodized)
- 2 ½ cups brown sugar
- 4 ½ cups vinegar
Chop the tomatoes and onions. Rough-chop the raisins and garlic.
Combine all the ingredients together in a large non-reactive pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for one hour (longer if necessary). Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and scorching.
When the chutney is thickened and reduced, remove from heat and cover. The chutney should be a nice brown color.
Fill sterilized 8- or 16-ounce jars with hot chutney mixture. Remove air bubbles. Fit caps and process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath canner.
Dilled Green Tomatoes (Pickled Green Tomatoes)
- 5 pounds green tomatoes
- 3 ½ cups vinegar
- 3 ½ cups water
- ¼ cup salt (non-iodized for canning)
- 8 cloves garlic, peeled
- Dill—12 teaspoons dried or 6 heads of fresh
- 6 bay leaves
Wash tomatoes and cut out cores. Cut into quarters. Peel whole garlic cloves.
Make the brine solution. Combine the vinegar, water, and salt in a large sauce pan. Bring to a boil.
Pack the tomato quarters into sterile one-pint jars. Add one clove of garlic, one head of dill (or 2 teaspoons if using dried), and one bay leaf to each jar. Cover with brine, leaving ¼ inch headspace. Remove air bubbles, cap, and process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.
Makes about 6 pints.
Stuffed Green Tomatoes
- 12 medium-sized green tomatoes
- 1 head cabbage
- one gallon water (4 quarts)
- 1 cup salt plus one teaspoon, divided
- 2 tablespoons mustard seed
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper (white preferred)
- 4 cups vinegar
- ¼ cup sugar
Wash produce. Cut the tops off the tomatoes. Reserve tops. Scoop the insides out of the tomatoes. Shred the cabbage. Dissolve the one cup of salt in the gallon of water and then pour it over the prepared tomato shells and tops. Let sit in a cool place, covered, for 24 hours.
After 24 hours, drain and rinse the tomatoes well.
Combine the cabbage with one of teaspoon salt, the pepper, and the mustard seed. Mix through. Fill the green tomato shells with the mixture, pressing the mixture in to fill them completely. Replace the tomato tops and secure with a toothpick.
Make the brine. Combine the vinegar, water, and sugar and bring to a boil. Remove from heat.
Pack the tomatoes into sterilized one-quart jars. Pour hot brine solution over the packed tomatoes, leaving ¼ inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and fit lids and rings. Process 15 minutes in a boiling water bath canner. Makes about 3 quarts.
Green Tomato Preserves
- 2 pounds small green tomatoes
- 4 cups sugar
- 2 medium lemons
- ¾ cup water
- 1-inch piece of fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon picking spice
De-stem, but do not core green tomatoes. Thinly slice lemons.
Tie the ginger and pickling spices together in a piece of cheesecloth. Put sugar, lemon, and water in a large sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Simmer 15 minutes. Add the tomatoes to the brine and simmer until tomatoes look transparent. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Remove
from heat, cover, and let stand overnight in a cool place.
The next day, remove the spice bag. Discard. Drain the tomatoes and lemons but RESERVE THE LIQUID (syrup).
Boil the syrup for 3 minutes (longer if it seems too thin). Add the tomatoes and lemons back in and boil for 1 more minute.
Pack hot into sterilized half-pint jars, fit caps, and process in a boiling water bath canner for 20 minutes. Makes about 6 one-half pint jars.
Design-Your-Own Green Tomato Recipe
Green tomatoes can be used in many places and in many ways that you would normally use ripe, red tomatoes. Because of their increased acid content, most people prefer them cooked to raw, but consider using green tomatoes or cooked or pickled versions in dishes like salads, sandwiches, chilies, casseroles, on focaccia, as a pizza topping, in quiche, savory tarts, and more. You may just decide that your fresh, prepped, or preserved green tomatoes are a much better replacement for flavorless grocery store off-season “fresh” tomatoes in your daily dishes!