Ideas for Green Tomatoes

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Here in New York (as well as in many other parts of the country), it’s an inevitable fact that as we head into winter, the garden will be hit by frost. Sadly, this can often mean the end of many herbs, as well as tender plants like tomatoes.

It’s pretty much a given that when the frost comes, you’ll be left with unripe tomatoes on the vine.

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If you’re prepared and know the first frost date for your area, you can pick your green tomatoes for later use. And even if you don’t know the cold is coming, it’s still possible to salvage green tomatoes after the fact – if the frost was very mild.

Green tomatoes are famous for being great fried (I love them with a simple crust of seasoned organic cornmeal), but they can also also be turned into pickles, salsa, relish, marmalade or chutney.

This particular chutney recipe is both sweet and spicy, and it’s terrific mixed with eggs, spread onto sandwiches, or served with Indian dishes like naan bread.

Green Tomato Chutney Recipe

adapted from Think Like a Chef by Tom Collichio


  • 1 Tbsp. peanut oil
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, with seeds, chopped
  • 3 shallots, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup uncrystallized candied ginger (available at Trader Joes) or use 1-2 tablespoons of fresh ginger, and consider adding a little more sweetener
  • 1 large or 2 small green or red bell peppers, cored, seeded and chopped
  • 10 green tomatoes, cored and chopped
  • sea salt
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard seed
  • 1/2 tsp. coriander seed
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seed
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar


  1. Add peanut oil to skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, jalapenos, shallots, ginger, and bell peppers and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add green tomatoes and salt. Cook for another 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add all of the spices and stir around for a minute or two. Add the vinegar and the sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes more.
  4. Allow to cool and then taste for seasoning. Add more salt, cayenne, or brown sugar, if needed. Spoon into glass jar(s) and store in the refrigerator, where it should keep for 3-4 weeks.
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–Winnie Abramson writes the organic gardening and food blog Healthy Green Kitchen

Photo Credit: Winnie Abramson

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