Green tomatoes seem to be particularly prolific this year. The warm Spring seems to have got the tomato population off to a great start, but the subsequent less than glorious summer has resulted in fewer than usual ripening into luscious red tomatoes. Many people I know have more green tomatoes than they know what to do with.
If you are over-run with green tomatoes, try this easy pasta sauce recipe – it tastes very much like sun-dried tomatoes – great with olives and cheese
Since most people who grow their own food want to it to be a success, this can be rather disheartening, especially if you don’t know what to do with them. This is when you not only need to be a gardener, but an inventive and creative cook. It’s good to have a go at new recipes to see what you can do that you will like!
Green Tomato Chutney
There is always green tomato chutney – like Apple Chutney, it is actually quite quick and easy to make. I must admit, after all the Apple Chutney I have made I may run out of shelf space if I start on Green Tomato Chutney too! However, I may well be grateful for it in months to come – all this chutney can make great Christmas gifts! (There will be so much more on the topic of Christmas in the next few weeks!)
What To Do With Green Tomatoes
So what else can you do with green tomatoes other than make chutney? There are ways you can try to ripen your green tomatoes. They will not taste quite as good as ones that have naturally ripened on the vine, but they will at least be good for cooking and putting with other things.
The problem with green tomatoes is that they are fairly astringent and a little sharp – so they need something to bring out sweetness and flavour. Roasting certainly does it for many vegetables – so I thought it was worth a try with green tomatoes. So this recipe is based on roasted green tomatoes served with olives and cheese. I did put the odd ripe tomato in with the green ones as I had read that the red tomatoes help to bring out the flavour of the green tomatoes. Next time I will try adding peppers and onions to the mix as well as some garlic – all of which should help to bring out the sweetness.
In my opinion this pasta sauce tasted somewhat akin to sundried tomatoes – but perhaps not quite such a deep rich flavour. I am looking forward to seeing what others think and what variations people might make to the recipe.
Penny’s Green Tomato Pasta Sauce
Green Tomato Pasta Sauce
- 5-6 medium unripe, green tomatoes, sliced
- 1 ripe red tomato sliced
- 1 dessert spoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves crushed garlic
- 5-6 basil leaves, torn
- 6-8 black olive sliced
- 55g / 2 oz grated cheddar cheese
- sprinkle Freshly ground black pepper
- 150g-200g / 6-7oz pasta
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C
- Place the sliced tomatoes in a baking dish
- Drizzle the olive oil over the tomatoes
- Sprinkle over the sugar
- Add the garlic and basil leaves
- Stir everything around a bit to ensure even distribution
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until the tomatoes are just starting to char
- Meanwhile place the pasta in a large saucepan
- Cover with boiling water, bring back to the boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes until cooked
- When tomatoes are ready stir an mush slightly
- Add the olives and cheese and stir into cooked pasta over a low heat
- Season with freshly ground black pepper
- Serve with a green salad
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Fried Green Tomatoes
Of course there is the classic American recipe for green tomatoes -‘Fried Green Tomatoes’. I have to admit to never attempting to make these – but below is an excellent video describing how to make them.