Once the weather forecast claimed rain for the next 4,356 days (one of the downsides to living in the Pacific NW), I decided it was time to uproot my tomato plants. Unlike much of the USA this year, our summer was cold and all together too short. And my tomato plants suffered. As a matter of fact, I didn’t get very many ripe tomatoes at all until September this year!
With a pile of green tomatoes, I wanted to DO something with them. Yes, I know, they’ll eventually ripen (and they are). But I’m not so good at waiting. And a person can only eat so many fried green tomatoes. I also sometimes use them (in a pinch) for salsa verde when I’m short on tomatillos, however, this year my tomatillos did me proud (unlike my tomatoes, uh hem!)
The same day I pulled up my plants and collected a large table full of green tomatoes, I came across the book A Householder’s Guide to the Universe, by Harriet Fasefest. Inside there was a recipe for Green Tomato Sauce. The timing couldn’t have been better!
That afternoon, I chopped up a big pot of green tomatoes and simmered the sauce while I cooked dinner. It’s easy to make and delicious. So far I’ve poured it over rice, used it as a pizza sauce (instead of red sauce) and made a pork and hominy stew with it. All of it tasty.
How to make Green Tomato Sauce: Printable
Peel a large bulb of garlic and sauté the cloves in 1/2 cup of olive oil being careful not to burn them.
Add 5 lbs diced green tomatoes (skins on) and mix well with garlic.
Add 1-2 teaspoons crushed red pepper (or more to taste), 2 1/2 cups white wine, and 1/2 cup pickled pepperoncini.
Mix together and cook until reduced to thick sauce. Salt and pepper to taste.
Fasenfest also suggests, as an optional ingredient, to add either bacon or pancetta to the mix. I didn’t have any, so I opted to go the vegetarian route.
The best part of all was redeeming my ill thoughts towards my slow growing tomatoes and feeling like I didn’t waste all that time and energy after all. In the end, I had delicious, hardy tomato sauce, even if it wasn’t the color I was used to! The recipe is going in my favorites file (the kids even ate in on their pizza without complaint) and I’ll pull it out every end-of-summer when I’ve got more green tomatoes than I know what to do with!
Kerrie blogs at City Girl Farming.
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I haven’t made green tomato sauce yet, but gave away my green tomatoes this year even though I kept enough to make a green tomato casserole. The guys said they both liked. My DH thought it was zucchini when he first looked at it. Hahahaha, he doesn’t like zucchini unless it is in relish.
I was wondering about this sauce as I did consider something to do with the tomatoes. Maybe next year. I live in Oregon and put a plastic cage over my plants this year so I could even get some tomatoes. It worked great the plants had to be cut back at 7′ tall as the were pushing up the plastic. I cut 3 feet off twice and still they grew out of the cages. I have one volunteer plant in an older garden and I put a heat blanket over it and it works great so far. I can hardly wait for the tomatoes to ripen so I will know if it works well or not. Have fun!!!
On October 15, 2011 at 10:13 am
I live in the PNW too. I think summer happened on a Tuesday this year. 🙂 You’re very resourceful but you have to be out here don’t you? Great article!
On October 16, 2011 at 12:51 pm