Another solution for green tomatoes, besides frying and discarding | Restaurant Reviews | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Another solution for green tomatoes, besides frying and discarding

Green tomatoes are easy to pickle, tasty to eat

With a bigger garden this year, come October my wife and I faced a bigger harvest of unripe tomatoes. We knew of three options.

One, put the tomatoes in a brown paper bag to ripen. This works, but a memo: Check inside the bag once in a while. Otherwise, the tomatoes shoot past red all the way to black, garnished with white fuzz. (It was a trip to the compost for these guys.)

Next up was frying. Lazily relying on vague hearsay recipes (and feeling experimental), we used a corn-meal batter that produced something edible but not especially aesthetic. Lumpy, in fact. We've since been told simple wheat-flouring does the trick. We'll try again next year.

The most adventurous, and hence most satisfying, strategy was my first attempt at pickling. Yep, you can pickle most any vegetable (or in this case, fruit), not just cukes, and the method's about the same.

Slice your green tomatoes thin, layer them with salt, and let sit overnight. (This draws out the moisture, for crispness.) Rinse off the salt; and immerse the tomatoes in vinegar in a sealable jar, adding spices if desired. (The jar must have a nonmetallic lid, because metal reacts with the vinegar.) Then just leave the sealed jar in a cool place for three or four weeks.

  How do pickled tomatoes taste? Pretty much like pickled anything. But that's fine by us.

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