What exactly are green tomatoes? Are these unripe tomatoes or something else entirely? Are there any green tomato dishes you can try?
To begin, there are two kinds of green tomatoes. Sometimes, they’re a separate variety of heirloom tomato that are still green when ripe. This type often has vertical stripes or other colouring variations, and they’re soft when pressed. Heirloom green tomatoes taste similar to red tomatoes.
More often, though, green tomatoes are just tomatoes that haven’t ripened. They were sometimes harvested before they became red. Green tomatoes are often tomatoes that did not have the opportunity to mature before the weather began to cool in late summer and early fall.
An unripe tomato is pale green all over, has an almost crunchy bite and tastes tart. We adore them, so we’ve included a few of our favorite unripe tomato recipes below.
Is it safe to eat green tomatoes?
Whether cooking with green tomatoes or eating them raw, they’re safe to consume. If you’re very sensitive to acidic foods, test the waters first, since green tomatoes might cause gastrointestinal distress in a tiny percentage of individuals.
It’s possible to ripen your unripe tomatoes by leaving them somewhere warm, packed in with apples or ripe bananas in a paper bag. Nevertheless, this strategy will not always succeed, leaving green tomatoes the same color they began with.
Also, red tomatoes may be found at any time. Why not try some recipes with green tomatoes instead, enjoying their firm texture and more acidic taste?
10 recipes for green tomatoes
Here are a few suggestions on what to do with green tomatoes:
- Green tomato chutney
- Fried green tomatoes
- Pickled green tomatoes
- Curried green tomatoes
- Air fried green tomatoes
- Roasted green tomatoes
- Green tomato chilli
- Green tomato salad
- Green tomato paste
- Frozen green tomatoes
Continue reading for more information on these unripe tomato recipes.
Green tomato chutney
1kg green tomatoes, sliced; 200g onions, coarsely chopped. Layer both in a large bowl with 1 tbsp of salt and leave overnight.
Next, cut 200g sultanas then core and chop 200g cooking apples the following day.
Pour 200g sugar (muscovado is preferable, but use any) and 500ml vinegar into a large pan, stir to dissolve the sugar and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes after adding the sultanas and apples. Drain the tomatoes and onions in a strainer (do not rinse), then return to the pan and bring to a boil.
Cook, stirring regularly, for 1 hour, or until the mixture is thick and pulp-like.
Cover with lids and place in sterile, warmed jars.
Fried green tomatoes
Season with salt and pepper after slicing 4 big or 6 medium green tomatoes crosswise into 1 cm pieces.
In a mixing dish, combine 130g polenta or breadcrumbs and 12 teaspoon smoked paprika.
In a separate dish, lightly whisk 2 eggs (or, to make it vegan, 6 tbsp aquafaba).
In a frying pan, heat 120ml vegetable oil over medium heat. Dip the tomato slices in the egg or aquafaba mixture, then roll them in the polenta bowl. Fried them in a single layer for about 3 minutes each side, or until golden brown.
Drain on a plate lined with a paper towel.
Pickled green tomatoes
Weigh a 1l sealable jar (or one with a lid) and make a note of the number on the scales. Pack 375g diced green tomatoes into the jar.
Gather 10g sliced garlic cloves, 30g sugar (preferably caster but any will do), 250g white wine vinegar (or use any), 250ml water, 1 bay leaf, ½ tsp black peppercorns, ¼ tsp yellow mustard seeds, ¼ tsp coriander seeds and 1 pinch of chilli flakes. Bring the remaining ingredients to a boil in a big saucepan. Let to cool before pouring over the tomatoes in the jar.
Weigh the jar again and deduct the jar’s initial weight. Then divide the result by 100% to get 1% of the total weight of the combination. Fill the container with this much salt.
1 week at room temperature after sealing. Make sure the tomatoes stay submerged throughout the pickling time.
Once opened, keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.
Curried green tomatoes
In a skillet, melt 2 tbsp vegan spread or butter. Add 2 tbsp minced onion and cook until the onions become translucent.
Add 1 tsp curry powder and 400g roughly chopped green tomatoes. Sauté until well heated, then season to taste with salt and pepper.
Air fried green tomatoes
Cut 4 big or 6 medium green tomatoes into 1 cm slices crosswise.
Whisk 2 eggs, or 6 tbsp of aquafaba for a vegan alternative, in a small bowl. Fill a glass with 85g of dairy or plant milk.
In a separate small bowl, combine 120g flour, 12 teaspoon salt, and 14 teaspoon black pepper.
Pour 80g polenta and 80g breadcrumbs, or 160g breadcrumbs, into a third small bowl. Then add 1 tbsp Italian seasoning, plus 2 tbsp of grated parmesan or your favourite sharp vegan cheese.
Dip the tomato slices in the egg, then in the flour, and last in the polenta mixture.
Layer them in an air fryer basket in a single layer, then spray the tops with olive oil. Cook at 200°C in the air fryer for 5 or 6 minutes, then flip over, spritz with olive oil again and cook for another 5 minutes.
Roasted green tomatoes
Preheat the oven to 220°C.
In a mixing bowl, combine 800g green tomatoes, whole cherry or sliced medium. 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp seasoning, 12 tsp garlic powder, 14 tsp dried thyme, and 14 tsp black pepper to a mixing bowl. To coat the tomatoes, toss thoroughly.
Place on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour on the center shelf of the oven. The tomatoes should be deflated but not dried out.
Green tomato chilli
Cook 1 kilogram beans of your choosing and set aside. Dice 3 large green tomatoes, 2 chilli peppers (jalapeños work great), 1 onion and 2 stalks of celery.
Place all the vegetables in a large skillet, along with 1 tbsp olive oil and the juice of 2 limes. Sauté over medium heat until all of them are tender. Add 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tbsp chilli powder and 1 tbsp cumin and simmer for another 2 mins. Heat thoroughly after adding the beans.
Green tomato salad
For a salad with a Burmese twist, in a small saucepan, combine 1 tbsp peanut oil, 1 chilli pepper and ¼ tsp dried chilli flakes. Warm for 1 minute over medium heat, then remove and set aside to cool.
Place 450g green tomatoes in a mixing basin and cut into thin wedges. Add 1 thinly sliced onion, 2 peeled and crushed garlic cloves, and 30g finely chopped peanuts. Squeeze half a lime over the top and toss to combine.
Add extra lime juice and season with salt to taste. Coarsely chop a good handful of fresh coriander and garnish to serve.
Green tomato paste
Use your green tomatoes to make salsa verde. 900g green tomatoes, quartered, and 4 mild chili peppers, quartered. 1 onion and 3 garlic cloves should be peeled and finely chopped.
Add the ingredients into a stockpot, along with 1 tsp salt, ¼ tsp ground cumin, 1 tbsp olive oil and 3 tbsp water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a medium-low heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring regularly. Add 12 teaspoon fresh lemon zest, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, 1 teaspoon sugar, and a small handful of chopped coriander leaves. Simmer for 5 minutes more. Taste the mixture and make any necessary adjustments to the flavors.
Blend the ingredients in a blender, pulsing until it reaches the desired consistency, whether chunky or smooth.
Frozen green tomatoes
What can you do with an abundance of green tomatoes? Take the pressure off and freeze them to use later.
Although you may freeze tomatoes, you should be warned that their texture will become considerably less firm once thawed. This isn’t an issue if you’re planning a green tomato dish that involves frying or baking. But forget about throwing them raw into a salad – they’ll be too mushy.
To freeze green tomatoes, cut them into 12 cm pieces beforehand. Then separate them into portion sizes with wax paper and put them into an airtight container with minimal excess air inside. Put them in the freezer for up to a year.
Are unripe green tomatoes good for you?
Green tomatoes are rich in vitamin K and help in normalising blood clotting. These tomatoes also support bone strength and density.
What happens if you pick tomatoes when they’re green?
It is quite OK to collect green tomato fruits. It will not harm the plant or the fruits in any way. Picking green tomatoes will not encourage the plant to produce additional fruits since that function is dependent on air temperature and soil nutrient availability.
What are the benefits of eating raw green tomatoes?
Green tomatoes include beta carotene, which aids in the production of vitamin A, which is needed for eye health. Lower blood pressure: Green tomatoes are also a good source of potassium that counteracts the effects of sodium and helps lower blood pressure.
Can you eat a tomato that isn’t ripe?
Green tomatoes are safe to consume. They don’t taste like ripe red tomatoes—they’re more tart and acidic—but they’re delicious fried in breadcrumbs or other coatings.