This must be the longest tomato season ever. The vines, which are unusually thick and sinewy, keep producing large tomatoes a good 6-8 weeks later than normal. The tomatoes are all green, however, and will not turn red in this cool weather. Last week, I picked the last of the large tomatoes, a mere 16 pounds. (And there’s still cherry tomatoes some shade of red on the vine.) Initially disappointed, I’m actually enjoying cooking and eating green tomatoes. I’ve learned there’s a lot one can do with them!
Here’s a fabulous green tomato chutney recipe adapted from the original Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen (1977). Katzen notes that this Indian relish is about as difficult as applesauce (in other words, not), can be sweetened or not to your preference and, if packed in a sterile, sealed jar, will keep for some time.
green tomato chutney
2 pounds of green tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons freshly chopped ginger
2 garlic cloves minced
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
2 teaspoon chopped coriander, from the garden of course
2 teaspoons chopped cumin, from the garden
2 teaspoon salt
1 cup honey
1 cup cider vinegar
cayenne to taste
Combine everything. Bring to a boil, then simmer one hour, stirring periodically. Cool before packing into jars. Makes about a quart.
Summer gazpacho is a favorite in my household. This year, none of the ingredients seemed to be ripe at the same time to prepare it. I did find this green tomato gazpacho which is clearly a summer, not a fall, recipe. It’s pretty good although I like the New York Times green tomato soup I blogged on earlier much better. It too is a Mollie Katzen recipe from The Enchanted Broccoli Forest (1982).
green tomato gazpacho
3-4 large green tomatoes
1 medium bell pepper, any color
1 medium cucumber
1 clove garlic crushed
1/4 cup minced parsley, packed
juice from 2 limes (about 6 tablespoons)
1 medium avocado, mashed
3 cups cold water
1 teaspoon salt
fresh ground pepper to taste
1 tablespoon fresh basil, minced
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon honey
optional: extra avocado or sprigs of thyme for garnish
Cut the tomatoes, pepper, cucumbers into 1/2 inch chunks. Combine with minced scallion in a large bowl. Add garlic and parsley. Mash the avocado in lime juice. Add it and other ingredients to vegetables in bowl. Mix well. Puree all or half of the ingredients. Chill and serve cold.