May the roof above us never fall in
And may we good companions beneath it never fall out.

~Irish blessing

Friday, April 17, 2009

Green Tomatoes and Ham

Tomato season is closing here in Melbourne, but most of our late planted vines are still laden with mostly green fruit. Wanting to make some room for new crops, I thought I'd try the 'Pull and Hang' method I've heard suggested, by removing two plants and hanging them upside down to ripen. What went wrong? I'm not sure but the next day many of the green fruits were starting to lose their taughtness. I guess as the roots dried out, the tomatoes were also losing moisture. Worried they would just shrivel up, I quickly picked the lot.

So, what to do with all these green tomatoes?

Soul Food - Fried Green Tomatoes

Traditionally you slice the green tomatoes, dip in beaten egg, then dredge in cornmeal or crumbs and pan fry. I'm sure there are endless variations though. I dusted the slices with a mixture of rice flour and chickpea flour and fried them in butter. They were so delicious they were all snaffled before I remembered to take a picture!

Green Tomato Pickle (Great with cold cuts, hence the blog title)

Inspired by Gavin's fantastic recipe posted at  - I reduced the quantities  and used just a little cummin instead of curry powder.

125ml white vinegar
500g green tomatoes
166g onion
Half a tbs salt
Pinch of black pepper
166g sugar
1 tsp cummin
½ tbs mustard powder

Chop the onions and tomatoes, stir in the salt, then leave stand overnight.

The next day drain off the liquid.  Add tomatoes/onions to 
a large frying pan and add three quarters of the vinegar.  
Bring to boil and boil for 10 minutes.  Add the sugar, 
bring back to the boil whilst stirring.  Then boil 
for 1 hour to reduce, stirring often.

Mix the remaining vinegar with the dry ingredients.  
Add to the pan and stir until well combined.  Boil for a further 
5 minutes, then pour in to a sterilised jar.

Thanks for the recipe Gavin. For more, see his personal blog - Great stuff.


  1. I've just made my third batch, and was interested to see this one is brining with such a small amount of salt. Did it pull much liquid out?


  2. Hi,

    Yes, I was amazed at how much water the small amount of salt drew out of the tomatoes.

    The chopped tomatoes and onions filled a glass bowl to the top. The next morning the bowl had liquid past the half way mark.

    I usually sprinkle salt over tomatoes for a tomato salad and leave them in a colander for awhile. A little does go a long way.

    By the way, your Spicy Mustard Pickles sounds fantastic.