Tag Archives: green tomatoes

Preserving Those Unripe Tomatoes

Some of us have planned purposes for green, unripe tomatoes early in the season – like my mother’s delish green tomato relish recipe! – while others are grabbing end of season unripe tomatoes off the vines before the frost hits. Now you have a lot of these green tomatoes, what to do with them? greentom_blog

Unripe tomatoes may be canned like ripe tomatoes, following the same directions including acidification. Even though unripe tomatoes should have a lower pH (higher acid content) than their ripe counterparts, we do not know if even in the unripe stage your variety and growing situation may mean they are still above pH 4.6. So follow the USDA directions for canning tomato and tomato products, including the acidification. See the acidification advice even for green tomatoes here: https://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_03/tomato_intro.html and the available canning procedures for tomatoes here: https://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can3_tomato.html

How about that prized relish in our family?  That and other relishes calling for green tomatoes include

And, even though it doesn’t call for green, unripe tomatoes, I might throw in the more unusual, very tasty Oscar Relish to help use up those red tomatoes being grabbed off vines before the frost, also: https://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_06/oscar_relish.html .

Green-Tomato-Pie-049-photoshoppedAnother option for something a bit different (and not a relish), is the Green Tomato Pie Filling: https://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_02/can_pie/green_tomato_filling.html This will give you a great headstart for something to have handy during winter holidays (or really anytime).

Image courtesy of Randal Oulton

Some look forward to the summer treat of fried green tomato slices; you can freeze your raw slices and have them for frying later in the year, also:

Freezing green tomato slices: https://nchfp.uga.edu/how/freeze/tomato_green.html

For more information on canning and freezing methods, including packaging choices and headspace for freezer containers, see general sections on these topics available from the National Center for Home Food Preservation at the University of Georgia, https://nchfp.uga.edu.


Green Tomatoes: Not Just for Frying


Though there’s nothing quite like freshly battered and fried green tomatoes, there are plenty of other ways to serve green tomatoes — by preserving them first!

If you are a fan of classic kosher dill cucumber pickles, then you might like Kosher Style Dill Green Tomato Pickles. These pickles call for small green tomatoes, celery, green peppers, garlic, white vinegar, pickling salt, and fresh dill, and water. Once veggies are prepped and packed in to jars, you will pour hot brine over them then process jars in a boiling water bath. See details in the link, above.

Fans of sweeter pickles might prefer this recipe for Pickled Sweet Green Tomatoes. It calls for green tomatoes, onions, pickling salt, brown sugar, vinegar, mustard seed, allspice, celery seed, and whole cloves. The procedure takes more time than the kosher dill recipe; once the tomatoes and onions are washed and sliced, they are sprinkled with salt and left to stand for 4 to 6 hours. Then they are boiled for 30 minutes with all other ingredients (the spices tied in a spice bag) before packing them into jars and covering with the hot pickling solution.

Finally, for a truly sweet and spicy pickled green tomato, try this recipe for Spiced Green Tomatoes. You will need very small green tomatoes (like fig or plum-shaped tomatoes), sugar, cider vinegar, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, whole allspice, and whole or ground mace. This procedure calls for scalding and peeling the whole tomatoes, dropping them into syrup made of the other ingredients, then boiling until the tomatoes are clear. After straining the syrup in order to remove the whole spices, you will pack tomatoes into jars and then pour the syrup to cover tomatoes.

Green tomatoes are also an important component is several delicious relishes: Fall Garden Relish with cabbage, cauliflower, onions, peppers, salt, sugar, celery seed, mustard, and turmeric; Piccalilli with peppers, onions, cabbage, salt, pickling spice, vinegar, and brown sugar; Pickled Green Tomato Relish with peppers, onions, salt, sugar, vinegar, mustard, and cornstarch; Rummage Relish with red tomatoes, cabbage, onions, celery, peppers, salt, sugar, garlic, celery seed, cinnamon, mustard, ginger, cloves, and vinegar.

And if fried really is your favorite, but you’ve had enough for now, then here’s how to freeze green tomatoes for frying later: wash, core and slice green tomatoes to ¼-inch thick. Pack the slices into containers with freezer wrap between slices. Remember to leave ½-inch headspace between the slices and the lid, then seal container and place it in your freezer.