Last Chance for Homegrown Tomatoes

November 3, 2010

While talking with other gardeners, I learned that they haven’t removed their tomato plants because the vines are loaded with green tomatoes. However, it’s too cold now for tomatoes to ripen. They will ripen off the vine, though, or you can cook up a batch of green tomatoes to use as a garnish or add to your favorite recipes.

Pick the good green tomatoes before the first hard frost and toss the rest along with the tomato plant into the compost pile. Sort those you want to ripen into groups:  green with a little pink (these will ripen fastest), all green, and by size if you are using them for a specific recipe. Once you’ve sorted them, let them ripened in one of three ways:

  • Wrapped individually in newspaper.
  • Placed on a flat tray or box between a bottom and a top layer of several sheets of newspaper.
  • Placed in a closed paper bag.

Helpful hints:

  • Ripen stem side up.
  • Do not let the tomatoes touch one another.
  • Place tomatoes where the temperature won’t fall below 55 degrees.
  • Check daily. If one spoils, remove immediately so the other tomatoes don’t get infected.
  • Increase flavor by placing near-ripe tomatoes by a warm window one or two days before use.

Green tomatoes are delicious used in a variety of recipes: in vegetable soup, relish, sautéed and added to rice, chili, omelets, a stir-fry blend, and many other ways. So dust off those old cookbooks, put on your chef’s hat, and let your imagination fly or try a few of the many recipes found at  http://www.cooks.com/rec/search/0,1-0,green_tomato_pickles,FF.html. 


One comment

  1. Hi Dianne, I’m happy that you are on the road to recovery!!
    Do I recognize these tomatoes? I think they are from our back yard. We better get out there and pick them ASAP.
    In the past we’ve had tomatoes last quite a long time wrapped in newspaper, but alas, we are getting more pokey with every passing year!


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