I have finally pulled the last tomato plants from my garden. Sadly the abundant tomatoes still hanging on the vines have been there for a month already and refused to go from green to red, or even a vague orange. So I have absolute piles of green tomatoes, both large and small, and I have no intention of wasting them. I’m a haphazard gardener, so when something grows and actually produces edible fruits, I’m amazed and greedy. Here are some awesome things I plan to do with my green tomatoes, naturally including a batch of Fried Green Tomatoes, which I hope to use to turn my 5 year old from tomato hater to lover.
Green Tomato Pie
50mls cold water
100g butter, diced into pieces no more than 2 x 2cm
½ teaspoon salt
1 red onion
2 garlic cloves
4 large green tomatoes or 8 small
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup panko
Pinch cayenne pepper
- To make the crust, in a large bowl add the flour, salt and the butter cut in small cubes. Using your hands, cut the butter into the flour until it resembles large breadcrumbs.
- Add the water gradually while mixing with your hands. Knead the dough for about 3-4 minutes until it forms a smooth dough.
- Wrap and chill the dough for at least an hour before using.
- Slice the green tomatoes as thin as possible and lay out on paper towels and sprinkle lightly with salt. Cover with another layer of paper towel. This is to remove excess moisture from the tomatoes. Allow to sit for half an hour.
- Thinly slice the onion and finely chop the garlic. Set aside.
- Make the topping. Combine melted butter, breadcrumbs and cayenne pepper. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celcius.
- On a well floured surface, roll out the pastry dough until it is about 4mm thick. Press into a glass or metal pie dish of about 25-30cm in diameter. Fill the pie shell with a sheet of crumpled baking paper and pie weights, or old beans or rice.
- Parbake for 8 minutes and then remove from the oven.
- In the pie shell, layer the tomatoes, onions and garlic and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and some cracked black pepper.
- Add the topping and spread evenly over the vegetables
- Cover the pie with foil and bake for 35-40 minutes
- Remove the foil and cook for 5-10 minutes until the topping is golden brown
- Remove from oven and allow to rest for 20 minutes minimum before serving
Green Tomato Pickle
This is no quick fridge pickle recipe like we’ve attempted before. This is a serious old fashioned fermented pickle, and one that requires a little bit of commitment and maintenance, but has some very cool and delicious results.
Equivalent of 8 cups chopped green tomatoes
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 large chilli, thinly sliced
Handful of dill, roughly chopped
Pinch fennel seeds
6 cups water
2 ½ tablespoons salt
6-8 clean glass jars with tight fitting lids – just cleaned with very hot soapy water and placed in a hot oven for 5 minutes to dry just before decanting
- Divide the tomatoes, garlic, chilli, dill, fennel seeds and pepper corns between your prepared jars. Make sure to pack it tightly to the top. You may need more or fewer jars depending on the size of your old jars.
- Combine the water and salt in a large bowl and whisk until the salt is dissolved. Pour this pickling brine over the vegetables in the jar until all is covered
- Place the lids on the jars and make sure they are tightly secured.
- Line the jars up inside a plastic container and keep at the bottom of your pantry out of direct sunlight.
- Pickles will need to be checked every day for 4-10 days. Each jar should be opened and any mould or scum should be removed from the surface with a spoon and disposed of before resealing. Pickling works best during cold periods as during warm periods you get more mould and yeast growing.
- You know the pickles are ready when there is no smell of fermentation and the pickling liquid smells tart and clean. There should be no bubbles rising to the surface of the liquid. Once fermentation is complete, transfer jars to the fridge where they will last 9 months to one year depending on consistency of fridge temperature, and how well submerged the vegetables are in their liquid.
Green tomato chutney
8 cups of chopped green tomatoes
3 brown onions
2 red capsicums
1 large chili
2 cups apple cider vinegar
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon celery seeds
3 tablespoons salt
About 5-7 jars with tightly fitting lids, depending on size – clean with hot soapy water just before use and dry in a hot oven for 5 minutes before decanting
- Combine the salt with the tomatoes and set in a colander for one hour.
- Meanwhile, finely chop the onion, red capsicum and chilli.
- Rinse and drain the tomatoes. These steps reduce the amount of cooking time required because much of the excess water from the tomatoes has been removed.
- In a large pot, add the prepared onion, capsicum, chilli, vinegar, sugar and spices.
- Bring the mixture to the boil and allow to simmer for 7 minutes before adding the tomatoes.
- Allow to simmer for 20 minutes or until at your desired consistency.
- Pack the mixture into the clean and hot jars with a ladle. Wear rubber gloves to tightly fit the lids to the jars. Store in a cool dry place for up to 3-5 months.
Green Tomato Jam
Tomatoes are an interesting fruit to make jam with, and the result is something very beautiful, with a clear green colour. It takes a few days preparation, as the tomatoes need to sit with the other ingredients for a couple of days before you cook it.
1.8-2kg of green tomatoes (dice the tomatoes and remove the seeds and white core, weigh this quantity)
You will need a quantity of sugar that is half the weight of the seeded tomatoes
Thumb size piece of ginger
5 cardamom pods
Zest and juice of 2 lemons
About 5-7 jars with tightly fitting lids, depending on size – clean with hot soapy water just before use and dry in a hot oven for 5 minutes
- Peel ginger and grate or finely chop. Combine with the tomatoes in a large bowl
- Crush cardamom pods and add to the tomato mixture. Add lemon zest and juice and sugar. Fold through very gently to combine and cover with clingfilm. Place in the fridge for 24 hours.
- Pour the mixture into a large heavy based pot or Dutch oven and place on medium heat and bring to the boil.
- Reduce heat to low but allow to simmer. Cook for 10 minutes and skim any foam and scum that rises.
- Simmer for about an hour until thick and syrupy
- Decant into hot jars and wear rubber gloves to tighly seal the lids on. Store in a cool, dry, dark place and it should last up to 1-2 years. Refrigerate once opened.
Fried Green Tomatoes
We all saw that movie in the 90s. I thought the dish sounded crazy when I was a kid, but it is actually delicious, especially when served with a dipping sauce that combines mayonnaise, mustard and tomato sauce.
8 large green tomatoes or 12-16 smaller ones
1 teaspoon vinegar
4 teaspoons salt
3 cups flour
2 cups cornmeal (you can use fine or coarse polenta)
1 cup bread crumbs
1 teaspoon garlic powder
600mls of neutral oil good for frying (I like rice bran oil)
- Slice the tomatoes about ¾ cm thick and lay on paper towels. Sprinkle with salt, top with more paper towel and allow the paper the absorb excess moisture.
- In one bowl, combine the milk and vinegar and allow to sit for 5 minutes at least and then whisk the now soured milk.
- In another bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, 1 teaspoon of salt, bread crumbs and garlic powder
- Pour the oil into a heavy based pot for deep frying (or use a deep fryer if you have one) and set on medium heat. Drop a cube of bread into the oil to test the heat. It needs to turn golden within 10 seconds. Less and the oil is too hot, more and the oil is not hot enough.
- Dip each slice of tomato in the milk and shake off the excess before dipping into the crumb mixture, pressing it down like you would a schnitzel.
- Dip the tomato back into the buttermilk and again into the crumb mixture for a double coating before dropping it carefully into the oil. Repeat for the remaining but cook no more than 4—6 pieces at a time. Cook for about 2-4 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove tomatoes from oil and drain on paper towel. Repeat for remaining tomato slices and then serve.