GREEN TOMATO RELISH
Here’s the perfect solution for early-summer tomato cravings (or for those end-of-season fruits that don’t ripen before the frost). For prettiest results, use a variety of colorful bell peppers: orange, yellow, purple, red, and green. If you’d like a little heat, add a jalapeno or two.
Note: If you’re pressed for time, you can pulse the vegetables in a food processor until they’re chopped into ¼-inch pieces. Dicing the vegetables by hand takes more time, but it makes the relish look extra pretty.
24 green tomatoes
4 large white, yellow, or sweet onions
6 medium-large bell peppers, preferably a mix of colors
1-2 jalapeno peppers (optional)
3 tablespoons pickling salt
3 cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons mixed pickling spices, tied in a cloth
3 cups white distilled vinegar
Finely dice (see Note) the tomatoes, onions, peppers, and jalapenos (if using).
Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl, stir in the pickling salt, and let stand for 1 hour. Drain and discard liquid, then add the sugar, pickling spices, and vinegar. Transfer mixture to a 4-quart pot and set it over high heat; bring to a boil. Lower heat to low and gently simmer for 1 hour. Remove the cloth of pickling spices.
Pack the relish into hot, fully sterilized pint jars, leaving a quarter-inch of head space at the top. Remove any air bubbles by tapping the jars lightly; wipe jar rims with a clean towel. Cover at once with metal lids, and screw on bands. Seal and process for 5 minutes in a boiling-water bath. Cool and store in a cool, dry place.
BASIC APPLE JELLY
Our Basic Apple Jelly recipe works with regular apples or crab apples. Porters or MacIntosh will make a sweet jelly; Gravensteins or Greenings will make a spicier jelly.
tart (underripe) apples or crab apples
3/4 cup sugar for every cup of juice
You will need enough apples to fill a large kettle. Wipe the apples and remove the stems and the blossom ends and cut in quarters (do not pare—a large amount of the natural pectin is lodged in and just under the skin). Cut crab apples in halves. Put prepared apples in a large stainless steel or enameled kettle. Add cold water to almost cover the fruit—there should be about an inch of apples out of the water, but you should be able to see the water level in the kettle. Cover and cook slowly over low heat until the apples are soft.
Mash the fruit slightly while it is still in the kettle. Suspend over a large bowl a damp jelly bag or colander lined with wet cheesecloth. The juice will drip through the bag or colander into the bowl. Pour the kettle contents, fruit and liquid, into the bag or colander and allow the juice to drip through into the bowl overnight. Meanwhile, do something else so that you will not be tempted to squeeze the bag to hurry things along. Squeezing (or pushing through the colander) will not hurt the flavor of the jelly, but it will cloud it as minute particles of pulp will come through into the juice.
When the juice has dripped through, measure out 4 cups (leave the rest for another batch). Heat the sugar in a double boiler; with 4 cups of juice, you’ll need 3 cups of sugar. Bring the juice to a full rolling boil, then add the heated sugar and bring the mixture back to a full rolling boil. Boil quickly, stirring, until the candy thermometer reads 8 degrees above the boiling point (about 220°F) or until the jelly sheets off the spoon. Skim and pour into jelly glasses and seal.
Some Green Tomato Recipes
On this Page:
How to Ripen Green Tomtoes
Green Tomato Recipes
How to Pick, Store & Process Apples for Winter
Some Apple Recipes
SOME APPLE RECIPES
HOW TO PICK, STORE, AND PROCESS APPLES FOR WINTER
PICKING, STORING, AND PROCESSING APPLES TO ENJOY ALL YEAR
September 4, 2020
It’s apple season! Find out when apples are ready to be picked, how to properly pick an apple, how to store apples to keep as long as possible, and what to do with a glut of apples—from freezing apples and drying apples to making apple juice and more apple treats!
WHEN AND HOW TO PICK APPLES
There are some clues to look out for when checking if apples are ready to harvest. The skin color will become deeper. Fruits at the sides and top of the tree will usually ripen first because they receive the most sunlight. Finding windfalls on the ground below the tree is a good sign that apples are ready to harvest. If in doubt, pick and taste one!
Never tug an apple from the tree. Instead, cup it in the palm of your hand, lift it up and twist it gently. A ripe apple will come away easily, complete with its stalk. Apples on the same tree will ripen at different rates, so harvest regularly. Handle apples carefully to avoid bruising them, and take care when using a ladder to pick apples from higher up on the tree.
Early season varieties don’t store well, so eat them as soon as possible after picking. Mid-season varieties should keep for several weeks, and late season varieties will store for up to six months.
Stored correctly, most varieties of late-season apples should safely keep to the end of the year, and some as long as next spring!
Only store apples with no bruises or blemishes.
Ideally, pick apples in the morning while it’s still cool, and slightly under-ripe so they don’t over-ripen in storage.
Store apples in a dark, well-ventilated, cool but frost-free place, such as a garage or shed. Check your stored apples regularly and remove any that show signs of damage or rotting.Store apples in slatted boxes or racks.
Ideally, stored apples do not touch. They should be on slatted trays or racks or slatted boxes to allow air to circulate. You can also store them wrapped in newspaper. Keep different varieties separate, and eat those that won’t store as long first.
Make sure there is good air circulation, and prevent apples from touching in storage so that if one goes bad it won’t spread to the others. In cooler areas it’s worth insulating boxes with hay, straw or shredded paper over winter.
Large apples are likely to begin to go bad faster than small ones, so eat those first. Check on stored apples regularly and use up or compost any that are going bad. Alternatively, feed them to your garden birds.
Fall brings an abundance of juicy apples. But what to do with them all?
Freeze apples for use in baking, smoothies, jam, jelly and applesauce.
Core and peel your apples. Cut them into slices and coat them in lemon juice to prevent discoloring. One lemon should provide enough juice to treat slices from up to ten apples.
Place your apple slices onto a cookie sheet, then put them into the freezer. Once frozen, transfer them into freezer bags or containers. This prevents the slices from freezing into a single lump. Alternatively, simply freeze them in portion-sized containers.
You can also prepare ready-to-bake apple pie fillings for the freezer.
Make Apple Rings
Wash and core your apples, and peel them if you wish. Cut them into very thin slices up to a quarter-inch thick, then place them onto oven racks or dehydrator trays so they’re not touching. Set your dehydrator temperature to 135ºF, or set your oven as low as it will go. Your apple rings are ready when they’re dry and leathery to the touch; this takes between six and 12 hours. Or why not dry them further for crispy apple chips?
Once your apple rings have cooled, pack them into airtight bags or containers. Store somewhere cool, dark and dry for up to six months.
Make Apple Juice
Apples can be juiced without any specialist equipment. Core and chop apples, then place them in a large stewpot. Cover with water, bring to the boil, then place the lid on and simmer on a low heat until the apples turn mushy. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve, working a spoon back and forth over it to extract the juice.
If you wish, filter your juice through cheesecloth or coffee filters to make it less cloudy. Taste and adjust sweetness. Add more water if necessary.
Refrigerate your juice and use it within a week, can hot juice in sterilized jars, or freeze in airtight containers for up to six months.
Or why not try making applesauce, jams, or jellies? See a few recipes below.
AUNT MYLA'S GREEN TOMATO PICKLE
When making her pickles and relishes, Mary always tries to use the freshest produce she can find – some of which comes from her own backyard garden.
4 quarts sliced green tomatoes
20 onions, sliced thin
1 cup table salt
4 quarts thinly sliced green cabbage
6 cups cider vinegar
8 cups sugar
2 tablespoons mustard seed
4 tablespoons celery seed
4 green and 4 red peppers, finely chopped
2 tablespoons turmeric (optional)
Place tomatoes and onions in separate bowls and pour ½ cup salt over each bowl. Let stand overnight. In the morning drain the tomatoes, rinse the onions, and combine. Add cabbage. Combine vinegar and sugar and boil for two minutes. Add mustard seed celery seed, green and red peppers, and turmeric if desired. Bring to a boil and pour over tomato mixture. Pour hot into sterilized jars and process in boiling-water bath if desired.
Makes 12 pints.
GREEN TOMATO SALSA
When all those green tomatoes make you feel guilty, turn to this quick solution, which also makes a great gift.
4 to 5 large green tomatoes
1 red pepper, roasted and seeded
2 jalapeno chilies, roasted and seeded
2 small onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 cup fresh cilantro or parsley leaves
salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process just until coarsely chopped. Season to taste with salt and pepper and refrigerate for at least 3 hours to allow flavors to blend and develop. If possible, remove from fridge about 20 minutes before serving – this salsa is at its flavorful best when not too cold. Serve with chips and sour cream on the side, if desired.
APPLE BUTTER RECIPE
Make your own apple butter with this simple recipe. Apple butter is a delicious alternative to peanut butter, and a great way to use fresh apples.
Cortland apples work well because they don’t oxidize as rapidly when cut as do other varieties.
1/2 peck, or 6 pounds of Grade B apples, washed and quartered
2 cups, or less, apple cider
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
Rind and juice from 1 lemon
Wash apples and quarter them (coring and peeling is unnecessary), and cook until soft, adding enough cider to get them started without scorching. When the apples are soft, sieve them, add sugar, and season with remaining ingredients to taste. Simmer in a heavy pan over very low heat, uncovered, until desired thickness is reached. Stir often to avoid burning.
YIELD: Makes 3-4 quarts.
Makes 3-4 quarts.
HOW TO RIPEN GREEN TOMATOES
October 9, 2019
When temperatures begin to drop, tomatoes stop ripening, so it’s time to take action! We will show you how to ripen your green tomatoes both on and off the vine—and also when it’s your cue to remove those tomatoes from the vine.
There’s nothing better tasting than a vine-ripened tomato. Unripe green tomatoes can still be eaten, but the tomato reaches its natural peak when it’s left to reach a deep vibrant color on the plant.
WAYS TO RIPEN TOMATOES OUTDOORS
1. If you still have time to ripen tomatoes outdoors before frost, start by pinching out any tiny fruits and flowers so that your plants can now concentrate on the larger fruits that remain.
2. Gradually reduce the amount of water you give to the tomato plant in order to create consistently dry conditions which will encourage plants to ripen their remaining fruits.
Learn more about growing and harvesting tomatoes here.
WHEN TO REMOVE TOMATOES FROM THE VINE
· Tomatoes stop ripening below 50 degrees F. When daytime temperatures struggle to get higher, this is your cue to harvest all remaining tomatoes.
· Of course, they must be brought inside before frost hits. See your average fall frost dates.
· You should also harvest tomatoes if you spot signs of late blight on the stems. If the blight hasn’t gone into the fruits themselves, you should be able to salvage most of your tomatoes.
· As long as any green tomatoes show a first blush at the blossom end of the fruit, they should ripen off the stem. See tips on the best ways to ripen indoors.
4 WAYS TO RIPEN TOMATOES INDOORS
Daylight isn’t the most important requirement for ripening. In fact, tomatoes often start to ripen on the opposite side of the fruit to the sunny side. This is why placing tomatoes on a counter where it’s cooler slows down ripening.
What tomatoes do require for ripening is warmth. Tomatoes taste better when left to ripen on the vine so leave them as long as possible.
However, a factor that speeds up ripening is a gas called ethylene. Ethylene is actually naturally released by ripening fruits such as bananas, apples and tomatoes. So, placing a ripe banana or apple in with some green tomatoes in an enclosed space helps to speed up the ripening process.
1. In a cardboard box: Line the box with newspaper (or use fruit cardboard if it came from a grocery store) and place the green tomatoes on top in a single layer with a little space between each. Cover with another single layer of newspaper and leave somewhere warm. Check regularly. Another variation of this method is to place the tomatoes in a wooden drawer although you would be lucky to find a spare drawer in my house!
2. In a paper bag: Put 5 to10 tomatoes in a paper bag with a ripening banana, apple or tomato and leave in a warm place. Periodically open it up to check for any that show signs of mould or rotting.
3. Large glass jars or plastic bags: Another way to concentrate the effect of ethylene involves placing 2 to 4 large tomatoes in a jar or bag along with a ripening fruit and then sealing it. However, the combination of moisture and warmth can encourage mould so it is usually best to put holes in the bag or regularly open and check the jar.
4. Hang up the whole plant: Useful at the end of the season when a frost is forecast, the whole tomato plant can be gently pulled up and then hung upside down in a garage or cellar where temperatures will remain above freezing. This is said to produce better flavoured tomatoes than the other methods.
Green Tomato Recipes
Once frost nips at your garden, you can also gather up all the green tomatoes on the vine and make some these green tomato recipes!
green tomato relish
green tomato salsa
green tomato pickles
Did you know: Some tomatoes are meant to be green!