Are all gardeners obsessed with eating green tomatoes? I didn’t understand why anyone would try and make unripe fruit edible in the first place but in recent years I too have become obsessed. There is something so wrong about carefully tending and nurturing tomato plants all season only to let all those precious, yet unripe, jewels of the garden go to waste. I am not a fan of green tomato chutney, relish or jam it’s all too sugary for me. Pickled green tomatoes almost worked for me but it’s still something that is going to require altering before I attempt it again. Fried green tomatoes yes of course but really battering and deep frying anything tastes good. It comes down to this; green tomatoes are not palatable fresh on their own, they require transformation. Enter the slow roasting phenomenon and green tomatoes that are soft, tart almost citrusy with a hint of sweetness. I have tried roasting green tomatoes in the past which was literally, bitterly disappointing. Faster roasting works fine for ripe red tomatoes but don’t try to cheat this recipe by increasing the temperature and reducing the cook time it simply does not work and the already unripe acidic fruits quickly become bitter, they really need the longer roasting time to develop some sweetness. These are the last of this year’s tomatoes, the ones that didn’t ripen in a brown paper bag on the counter, a much nicer way to end my tomato season, rather than tossing them in the compost.
Unripe green tomatoes
Preheat oven to 300F. Wash, dry then slice tomatoes in half, spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet cut side up. Brush cut side with olive oil liberally and sprinkle with fine ground sea salt. Bake for 3 to 4 hours until most of the liquid has evaporated and tomatoes have shriveled up they should look a lot of like sundried tomatoes.