Thursday, October 18, 2012

To Fry or Not to Fry

“Give me all you can spare.”
I giggled insanely when I read that e-mail.
All I can spare? Does she even realize?

The first weekend of October brought our first freeze -- not just a frost, a freeze, a hard one. The tomatoes were not producing much of anything but green tomatoes, so I did not try to save them. However, I did pick about half a bushel of green tomatoes. Someone could use them. I knew she had been delighted to receive green tomatoes last year to make picalilli. I knew she wouldn't use half a bushel of them, but I had them delivered to her anyway.
Half of them were returned to me.

Fortunately, someone said he would use a few in spaghetti sauce – he likes the tartness. Someone else said she wanted to try some fried ones. She took a couple.
“What about salsa verde?” I asked before she could escape.
“Can you make it with green tomatoes?”
“You can try.”
So I gave her a few more. The next day I found a recipe online for salsa verde made with green tomatoes, and sent her the link.

The rest of the green tomatoes, which were few, went into the compost heap. I've still got pickled green tomatoes I made last year.
Well, ok, I salvaged a couple and had them with lunch. I sauteed some vegetables with a nice curry seasoning and added the green tomatoes and a ripe one. Tasty.

This Web site offered 25 green tomato recipes, including the salsa verde recipe. Here is another site with recipes and this one has interesting variations. And yet one more. They start looking alike after a while, mostly battered and fried, or some sort of pickle or relish. Of course you have to have green tomato pie, as well.

This is the recipe I created last year to make pickled green tomatoes.

My Pickled Green Tomatoes
3 cups organic apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon pickling salt
4-5 cinnamon stick
10-15 whole cloves
8-10 whole cardamom pods
15 cups, more or less, green tomatoes, sliced, quartered, chunked, however you like

Combine vinegar, salt, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom in a large saucepot. Heat to boiling and let cook for a few minutes. Remove spices and put 1 cinnamon stick, 2-3 whole cloves and 2 cardamom pods in each jar. Add tomatoes to vinegar and simmer 5 to 10 minutes. Quickly pack hot, sterile pint jars with tomatoes, then fill with vinegar to ½ inch from the top, making sure liquid covers all the tomatoes. Clean rims and cap each jar. Process in boiling water bath for 5 minutes. Makes 4 to 5 pints.

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