Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Green Tomatoes

My family is gone on vacation for two weeks and I was given free reign over their garden. It's almost finished - the deer have eaten a lot of it since someone left the gate open and it has frosted a couple of times. So when I was over there last weekend, I ripped out the dead tomato plants, salvaged the red tomatoes, and brought home a couple of buckets of green ones. We've always just composted them, but I decided to try and preserve some of them this year.

First I tried this recipe for orange-green tomato relish. It needed a little more zest, so here is my modified version:

Green Tomato-Orange Relish
8 medium green tomatoes
2 large sweet onions
12 oz marmalade (I used Smuckers fruit spread, 10oz)
1 c apple cider vinegar
1/2 t red pepper flakes
2 T prepared mustard
1 T salt
1 t all spice
Core tomatoes and peel onions. Pulse in a food processor until they are a relish-like consistency. Place in a saucepan and add remaining ingredients. Simmer on medium heat about an hour, until it is soft and syrupy. I simmered it longer to get rid of more liquid. You can can these (I did) or freeze in ziploc bags. Makes about 4 pints.

Next on our experimental list was Lemon-Green Tomato Marmalade. This recipe had far too much sugar and it ended up almost candy-ing the lemon and tomato pieces, which I had to pulse in the food processer. It still wasn't gelling, so I ended up adding some liquid pectin. The result wasn't horrible, but I wouldn't recommend the recipe. It tastes like lemon marmalade, but fairly sharp and too sweet.

And last and certainly least, I tried Canned Green Tomato Salsa. Wow. This stuff is awful. Fortunately, I halved the recipe. It was horribly sour and strong from too much lemon juice and sugar. My jalapeno pepper was too hot for my taste as well. I added 2T of sugar to try and compensate, but the vinegar/lemon juice combination with green tomatoes was still extremely acidic. I added a can of diced tomatoes and 2 cups of frozen corn, which moderated the flavor, and it's now somewhat edible with enough chips. But I'm now afraid to ever make green tomato salsa again!

I still have enough green tomatoes to try one or two more recipes and maybe I will possibly consider this Green Tomato Salsa Verde. Maybe.

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