There are two great times in the season for green tomatoes: in July when you have a bumper crop and want to take advantage of the unique flavor of an unripe tomato. The second is late fall, just before a killing frost. In the past, I let my small green tomatoes fall victim to frost and get dug into the garden as compost, not realizing the many uses for this green fruit.
Then somehow I came across You Grow Girl, who wrote about roasting green tomatoes. I had never heard of such and idea. Apparently she hadn’t either but she gave it a try and boasted of the result. OK, I was game.
Roasted green tomatoes are not pretty. You have to be ready for that truth. While still in the roasting pan they look a bit like a drunken designer’s attempt at camouflage. However, they are remarkably tasty, shockingly tasty. You wonder why no one ever told you about this before. You also begin remembering all those small green tomatoes gone to rot in the last several seasons. Advice: Don’t look back. Just move forward on this one!
Roasted Green Tomatoes Steps
- Select those rock-hard green tomatoes that you know will probably not ripen.
- Cut off the stem ends and slice in half longways.
- Pile the tomato halves in a large bowl and drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with a bit of salt.
- Toss the tomatoes well so that each is totally coated with oil.
- Arrange in the tomatoes cut side up in a single layer on a large roasting pan. A cookie sheet with sides is a good choice for this.
- Roast in a 300 degree oven for a couple of hours. The time will vary based on the tomato variety and the tomato size. For optimum flavor you want the tomatoes cooked through and just beginning to brown a bit.
- Check for salt and make adjustments. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper.
Enjoy as a side dish to any meal, turn it into party food, or turn it into a creamed soup. Be creative and you will learn to appreciate green tomatoes as much as ripe red ones.