I finally said ‘enough is enough’ and ripped out the tomatoes on the weekend. There were still plenty of lovely green ones on the vines.
One of the best tips I’ve used when it’s the end of the tomato season and still have plenty of unripe fruit, is to hang the vines in a cool dark place. If you have a cellar, brilliant. We don’t, so I hang them in the old shed beside the last of the garlic that is waiting for me to clean it and plant soon.
There are also the rows of fruit sitting on windowsills, catching the autumn sun. Most of these will ripen with a little patience.
My neighbour Lorraine puts green tomatoes in paper bags and that works well too.
I’m not a fan of green tomato pickle, so I tend not to make this relish. I might this year though, even if it’s to submit an entry into the local CWA exhibition! Competition is fierce! So I’ll sacrifice a few green ones for this old fashioned relish.
When the tomatoes are finally red, I chop them up and cook them right away into something scrummy like Kasundi, chilli jam or relish. And if I have too many to deal with in a day, then I freeze them in 2kg lots. I find this a handy quantity to make a batch of something with later on.
My aim is to have enough tomatoes to carry us through to next summer. The ones hanging in the shed will keep us going till around the middle of winter.
We'll enjoy a few more weeks of home grown goodness. Here’s a little green tomato salad recipe. You have to try it! It is delicious.
Green Tomato Salad
2 firm green tomatoes sliced thinly.
Drizzle a little red wine vinegar or lemon juice onto the tomatoes. Give them a gentle mix with your hands. Let them rest for a few minutes.
Gather some fresh herbs from the garden; parsley, dill, chives and spring onions.
Mix the herbs with the tomatoes. Add a few cherry tomatoes if you have them. Sprinkle with sea salt flakes and a little grind of black pepper. Add a little olive oil. Serve.
You can take this salad up a notch by adding some broken bits of goats cheese. Delicious!
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