They say when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. But what do you do when life gives you a hurricane that rips almost all of your premature green tomatoes off of its vine? Last week’s massive storm that rolled through our area did just this. To say that I was heartbroken is an understatement. Thankfully our next door neighbor, along with being incredibly kind and patient with our kids, has the greenest thumb around! Almost immediately after telling her about my tomato tragedy, she had searched out this great website that offer suggestions for green tomatoes (click here for the site). Thank you, Fran, for taking the time to help out with suggestions!
I read through a few websites and found quite a few intriguing ideas. Of course, fried green tomatoes were on the top of every list that I read. But I was on a mission to try something a bit more unique and challenging. Listed below are the three ideas that I went with, in order that I made them. Two were inspired from recipes that I found on other websites, and the third was improvised. Thankfully I was able to put to use almost all of the prematurely picked tomatoes. The remaining greens are gonna get fried!
GREEN TOMATO SPICE CAKE
Courtesy of allrecipes.com
This recipe incorporates puréed green tomatoes into a standard spice cake recipe. Similar to a zucchini bread, the green tomatoes are added more for texture and nutrients, rather than taste. It’s a bit more moist that a traditional zucchini bread, and you do notice the occasional tomato seed, but the spice really shines through on this. Serve as is, dust with powdered sugar, or top with a cream cheese icing.
4 cups chopped green tomatoes
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup butter
2 cups white sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Place chopped tomatoes in a bowl and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon salt. Let stand 10 minutes.
Place in a colander, rinse with cold water and drain. Purée in a food processor.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9×13 inch baking pan.
Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and beat until creamy.
Sift together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, soda and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add raisins and nuts to dry mixture; Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture. Dough will be very stiff. Mix well.
Add puréed tomatoes and mix well. Pour into the prepared 9 x 13 inch pan.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes in the preheated oven, or until toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean.
GREEN TOMATO FAJITAS
This recipe was totally improvised. I started off by sautéing some garlic and onions in olive oil until onion was translucent. I added a chopped green pepper, stirred it until tender, then added the tomatoes, again cooking on medium until tender. I then added some chopped chicken, salt and pepper and some dried barbecue spice. Served it on warm tortilla shells with shredded cheddar cheese. The end results were fantastic! The onions, garlic and peppers help liven up the bland taste of the green tomatoes, and the oil and salt helped soften them up to a nice tender texture. Gonna get this in my summer rotation often!
GARLIC PICKLED GREEN TOMATOES
Here’s an old world recipe that’ll put a large amount of the tomatoes to good use. Very good use! The jars that I made are still settling – you’ll need about two weeks to let them fully marinate. Look for a follow up post when I crack open my first jar. Let’s hope for tangy-liscious results!
5 pounds small, firm green tomatoes
3 1/2 cups cider vinegar
3 1/2 cups water
One fourth cup canning salt
6 or 7 garlic cloves
Pickling spices (a combination of spices, such as mustard seeds, peppercorns, dill, coriander seeds, cloves, and red pepper flakes)
6 or 7 bay leaves
Wash and core tomatoes, cut into halves or quarters. Combine vinegar, water and salt; bring to a boil. Pack tomatoes into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Add 1 garlic clove, 1 heaping teaspoon of Pickling spices, and 1 bay leaf to each jar. Pour hot liquid over tomatoes, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Adjust caps. Process 15 minutes in boiling water bath. Yield: about 6 or 7 pints.