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Green Tomatoes

By Jane Gilbertsen 

Dear Methow Gardener,

Wondering what to do with all those green tomatoes? We have an idea for you that looks and tastes like a winner. Make it now and pull it out for a party or book club dinner in the deep of winter.

My neighbor and friend Dian Burrows and I made 10 batches of salsa verde or green tomato salsa. We found the recipe on and think it is a winner. We used the garlic, onions and peppers from our gardens and unfortunately, used peppers that were also underripe, but that is what we had to work with. My late crop of cilantro was only about 1 inch tall so we bought the cilantro (being it is a cool season crop don't miss a fall planting!).

This is the recipe -
Roast 8 tomatoes and a couple peppers (they recommend jalapenos but you could also use one and then another milder pepper if you need something milder) at 350 degrees in the oven in a baking dish with a skim of olive oil on the bottom. Roast 1 onion, cut in 2 with dry skin still on, in another baking dish with a skim of olive oil on the bottom as well. Same temp. Chop of the top 1/4 inch of a garlic clove, place in a pouch of tin foil, pour in a bit of olive oil over the cloves and close the top of the foil. Place upright in a corner of the baking dish. Roast the tomatoes and peppers for 20 minutes and the onions and garlic til brown and carmelized, maybe about an hour. 

When cool, put all, except the dry skin of the onion and the seeds/ stem of the peppers, in a Cuisinart or Vitamix with the juice of one lime, cilantro if desired and some salt. Zap it til smooth but still some chunks. We ran out of jalapenos long before we ran out of green tomatoes so we marked some bags as complete except for peppers. We thought that we could add in the missing peppers later rather than just toss the tomatoes. 

We froze ours since we were not planning on a party or big dinner very soon. The recipes on the Internet use the salsa at several stages of preparing chicken enchiladas. They roll the tortilla in the sauce, mix it with the chicken or meat filling, mix some with sour cream and pour on top or some version of the same. I would encourage you to check around for other Internet recipe versions for the fun of it. If you still have tomatoes after this, sorry. Give some to your favorite chickens. I parcel them out, a few a day, to mine. I do NOT give them tomato vines, just the ripe and unripe fruits. 

Next year we will have ripe tomatoes, but no rain. Maybe, the only thing that stays the same is change. Looking forward to no more harvest, I am ready for a break, bet you are too! 

Oct 12, 2011