What to do with Green Tomatoes

We have a bumper crop of green tomatoes this year.  They were the only crop I managed to plant in a sunny spot, against an east-facing wall, and they grew like mad.  The romas destroyed their flimsy wire cages, they were so heavy with fruit.  The yellow pear and sweet 100’s made little grape-clusters of fruit, and the Early Girls made gorgeous round fruits.  We just didn’t have enough sun to ripen more than one or two of the slicers, and about 10 cherry tomatoes a day.

With the start of Fall, we’ve had lots of rain and cloudy weather.  If it weren’t for the rain, I’d leave the fruit on the vine to ripen as long as possible (until the first frost) but they’re so wet that anything that ripens just splits wide open, and fruit is starting to develop brown patches of rot.  The plants in the back, with weed cloth, are doing better because the water is mostly getting shunted away, but there’s not enough sun to ever ripen the fruit back there.

I’ve given away 2 big grocery sacks of fruit (I’d guess about 13 pounds each) to people planning on canning chutney and other sauces, and a few little sacks to folks who wanted some for their next stir fry.  I go out every other day or so and pull off any fruit with a hint of color, to let it ripen on my counter.  But the plants look terrible, with droopy, browning branches.  Definitely the end of the season!

We made this green tomato and potato curry last week, and it was good.  I don’t care for the garam masala in my cupboard, so next time I’d use my own curry paste, and would take care to mash ALL the tomatoes because the texture was a little weird.  But stir-frying these is definitely an option!  I’ll probably throw some, cubed, in the freezer for dinners this winter.

I have a “pickled green tomatoes” recipe I want to try out, from the Ball canning book, but I’m trying to think…if I made those pickles, would anybody eat them?  Seems like I should be able to find a recipe for salsa verde that uses green tomatoes, too.  Their flavor and texture is so similar to tomatillos, seems like that would be a great use for them!

What else would you do with green tomatoes?

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