Home Gardening Green Tomatoes: I’ll Tell You What to Do With Them


  1. While I am somewhat scandalized by this post, I know you are speaking truths. I like the attitude of gratitude toward summer’s shining beauties. Onward!

  2. Tom, if you get delicata squash on the West Coast, you can enjoy them on a salad with mesclun, sauteed shallots, spiced pecans and a white balsamic vinaigrette. Or simply roast the rings of squash and take them to work announcing that you’ve brought “donuts” and watching everyone’s faces first as they see them and then as they taste the delicious rings of nature’s sweetness…

  3. Bring o n the winter squash! Personally, I love it roasted with olive oil and sea salt, but I have made an awesome squash soup– recipe via epicurious.com

  4. Whew! I am happy to see someone speak the truth. Our dogs won’t even eat the tomatoes that we left out there- they loved sneaking into the garden and eating the sunny cherry tomatoes!

  5. I beg to differ on this one little topic–green tomato chutney. Add raisins and brown sugar and a bunch of vinegar and spices with funny names like fenugreek and voila–jam for rice. What’s wrong with THAT, now, huh??

  6. All those greens will jump start the thermophilic phase of your compost pile! If you lean close you should be able to hear the bacteria partying or at least feel the heat they are generating munching on your dry brown leaves.

  7. I don’t Elizabeth, perhaps if I had a jar of your green tomato chutney at my disposal, I’d be willing to concede.

    And brion…thermophilic? … a couple misplaced vowels and we could be in trouble here.

  8. This blog has made me feel so less guilty about tossing my tomato plants into the compost, along with all those green tomatoes which are clinging to the branches! Thank you Tom!!! I’ve been released!

  9. A lot of our unripe (large cherry) tomatoes fell off the vine when it got very cold a few weeks ago. I picked them off the ground and brought them inside. The are ripening by being inside and are tasting great. I made tomato sauce out of them this week. Some of them are spoiling but we’re composting those ones.

    My mom’s mom used to bring them in still on the plant and then hang them in the cellar. They ripen this way too, but you can just put them in a colander like I did.

    I am sure they make good compost, but why not ripen them inside if you can? Sarah

  10. Long live fried green tomatoes! I would wager you’ve never had one cooked properly. I love them, bacon grease or not — crunchy, tart, salty, yumminess. Next year save them all for me…

  11. Wendy, my diabolical plan is working…I’m all too eager to try fried green tomatoes done right. Perhaps a lesson in making them for this unappreciative rube? I’ve got the bacon grease (on demand), a big kitchen, heaps of green toms and a hankering to learn.

  12. I’ve eaten green tomato pie & it was really good! It’s taste was somewhere between apple and mincemeat…and don’t roll your eyes at the mention of mincemeat ‘cuz I’m not talking gross grocery store jarred mincemeat! REAL mincemeat has…yes, MEAT in it; preferably venison. Not high on the “healthy” list, but to die for! But that’s a whole different story.

  13. Alright Patrick, I will heed your advice and give the green tomato pie a try, expect a post several months from now. (My tomatoes are off to a slow start.) And as for mincemeat…umm, I’m with you, love the stuff.

  14. Speaking of winter squash, I’ve grown an heirloom variety called Adapazari that is shaped like Cinderella’s pumpkin & it makes very good pies. The seeds have been shared on GardenWeb.

    • There was a great green tomato soup we found for thick matchsticks of bavarian ham that we used our huge October crop of Juliets in… we had to pick them all since we moved out of the property the end of September. A real “foodie” dish that was also low in bad carbs & bad fats. We had over 6 gallons of Juliets… it froze well!

  15. Thanks Nina, I’ll start looking for the recipe, because I think after this cool summer, all I’m going to have to work with is green tomatoes.

  16. Another solution: send them to me. I’ll freeze some green tomato mincemeat (the recipe’s in Joy of Cooking) for Christmas and put up enough green tomato pickles to keep my partner happy until spring.

  17. TJ, fast forward a year and I’m with you. In a year where red tomatoes are as rare as unicorns riding unicycles, I’m ready to attone for last year’s premature bravado. I am now embracing the green tomato, whether pickles on in mincemeat or chutney. Now off to Joy of Cooking to right my ways…

  18. I couldn’t disagree more! I love fried green tomatoes. Learned to make them when I was housesitting in TN. I love the tanginess of the green tomatoes! And green tomato relish is the best relish in the world to have with tourtiere. It is the best! I love it with fish cakes, sausages and all sorts of savory dishes! Sorry!!

  19. Ah Sarah, forgive me; my rant was written out of frustration. I had so many tomatoes at season’s end and all of them were unripe and green and crisp. I was pining for the reds ones that never were.

    This coming summer I shall revisit the green tomato and embrace its culinary awesomeness. Feel free to share some recipes that will help this Tom love the green tom.

  20. Green Tomato Cake My friend on Whidbey Island shared her family recipe with me. I will have to gain permission from her and if given will be happy to share with you. I chop and freeze the tomatoes and make this treat in the winter. Yummy…will get back to you…

    • Thank you Betty, that’s very kind of you. Yep I need some schoolin’ on uses for Green Tomatoes that seem worthy of the effort. A cake, eh? Now you’re talking. Thanks, and hopefully she’ll say yes!

        • Hi Betty,
          Feel free to post it here so others can enjoy it, and then when I have green tomatoes I’ll make it and write a post about it. Thanks so much for doing this!

  21. Green Tomato Cake
    In a large bowl mix together:
    2-1/4 cups white sugar
    1-cup vegetable oil
    3 eggs
    2 tesp. vanilla
    Sift dry ingredients:
    3-cups all purpose flour
    1 tsp. salt
    1 tsp. cinnamon
    1/2 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
    1 tesp. baking soda
    Mix with wet ingredients until smooth.
    1-cup chopped walnuts
    1 cup raisins
    2-1/2 cups diced green tomatoes
    Stir until well blended, pour into a 9×15 baking dish that has been greased and lightly floured. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack, frost with a cream cheese or butter cream frosting. Or dust with powdered sugar.
    Store covered in the refrigerator after the first cutting. Enjoy

  22. Thank you for this post as well — I have a neighbour that almost cries if she catcghes me chucking out a green one! I have never understood the desire to eaat a hard, starchy dry berry.
    I wouldn’t eat green strawberries, either, that’s crazy, haha!


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