In case you’re totally unaware, let’s get the explanation out of the way first: green tomatoes are simply unripe red tomatoes*. Sometimes they’re intentionally picked before they ripen; often, they are tomatoes that just didn’t ripen in time by the end of the growing season. Some home growers see them as failed attempts at red tomatoes, but there are a lot of delicious uses for a green tomato.
* - actually, there are some breeds of tomatoes that are naturally green when fully ripe (like Green Zebras and Green Moldavians), but those are distinguishable from unripe green tomatoes, which is what we’re talking about here.
Most everyone is familiar with the popular Southern dish of fried green tomatoes, but rarely think about any other uses. If you have a batch of green tomatoes sitting around and are looking for some new ideas, there are plenty of options. As you’d expect, green tomatoes have a less mature taste than the red kind, with a hint of sweetness. Some people think they taste somewhat like zucchini.
Green tomatoes can be used pretty much any way that red tomatoes are, but will give your dishes a different flavor profile. You can try a green tomato BLT, a green tomato soup, or a green tomato pasta sauce. Some popular uses include green tomato pickles, green tomato salsa, and green tomato relishes and chutneys. You can even bake with green tomatoes – green tomato bread has a similar taste to zucchini bread.
Heck, if the end of growing season leaves you with a ton of green tomatoes, you could make a three-course meal of green tomato goodness:
Appetizer: Green Tomato Soup With Country Ham
Main Course: Green Tomato Pizza
Dessert: Green Tomato Cake