Friday, October 7, 2011

Ripening Green Tomatoes

Cheap Eat Challenge, Part 2: Watch as our family of 6 eats on less than $10/day.

Ready for a confession? Well of course you are.

Until this year, I'd never had a successful enough tomato crop to really have a whole bunch of green tomatoes left over. My tomato crops have always been super lame. Last year I had just a few green tomatoes and made a green tomato chili and some fried green tomatoes. But this year we had many. Also, as they were ripening (oh so slowly) this fall on the vine, they were going bad. Some were succumbing to tomato bum rot. Many many were cracking so bad from the burst of water we got a week or two ago that they were gross and also being infested by little bugs crawling into the cracks (yum). And some plants were flopping over, causing many of the tomatoes to sit on the wet ground and rot that way since my tomato cages are a little tipsy in some parts of the garden. So in addition to having many many green tomatoes, I had some motivation to get them off the vines and into the house. But what to do with them?

Well, I made some green tomato relish (recipe coming soon), but you can only eat relish so much, so I did the lazy expert home storage thing to do and laid them out to turn red. Inspired by Farm Girl Fare and her lazy practical approach, I didn't wrap them in paper or layer them in straw or keep them at a steady temperature or do anything special at all. I left them on the counter till that made Kip batty and then I took them to the basement storage room and laid them on storage boxes. In the picture above they're sitting on our box of sport equipment. And by gum they're turning red.

Will some rot? Yes. Just pitch them. Spread out in a single layer, a rotten one won't have the chance to spoil the barrel.

Will they be as good as homegrown vine-ripened tomatoes? No. Unless, of course we're talking about those vine-ripened ones I was getting that were bug-infested and rotten. But, no, you can't compare them to a good heart-of-summer tomato. Still, I think they'll make a fabulous oven roasted tomato sauce, and I plan to attempt oven-drying some of them.

Got any great recipes or fabulous ideas about what to do with green tomatoes? Please share them.


  1. Fried green tomatoes maybe?

    Green tomato pie (it's good!)

  2. Ooh, we've already made some green tomatoes. But green tomato pie--I've had it before and it's great. Good idea.



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