A great use for those green tomatoes left over from your summer harvest!
As the days start to get cooler and the leaves start to turn yellow, one of the few things that tend to stay green is the tomatoes that remain on the vines in the garden. This year we had a bumper crop of tomatoes that provided a bunch of great meals all summer. We had a bounty of tomatoes that led us to have more than we knew what to do with!
Of course, once the weather starts turning cool, those tomato vines that were producing such a bounty keep putting on fruit. But, without those hot summer days to turn them red, in most gardens these green tomatoes will end up going to waste. In our house, we hate to see that produce go to waste. We started thinking of how we could use some of the gallon buckets full of green tomatoes! We just didn’t want to throw them all away!
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What Ingredients are Needed for the Green Tomato Jam?
- Green Tomatoes
- Brown Sugar
- Vanilla Extract
- Lemon Zest
We aren’t big fans of that southern favorite fried green tomatoes. So, the past few years we have given a few away to friends then dumped the rest into the compost and called it a day. This fall however was going to be different after having a green tomato preserve at the bed and breakfast we stayed at last year in Napa.
The preserve we had was a rich golden color, an intriguing combination of tart and sweet. The flavor was reminiscent of tomatoes and citrus. It was a great spread on toast and was a wonderful compliment to all kinds of breakfast foods (can we just say green tomato jam and bacon… to die for!)
Having this green tomato jam made us decide that this years crop of green tomatoes were not going to go to waste!
Are Green Tomatoes Safe to Eat?
Tomatoes have a bit of a reputation that they can be poisonous. This is thanks to being related to the nightshade family. Ripe red tomatoes are highly nutritious, but the unripe green tomatoes can have a toxin that in a large enough quantity can make you sick. The safe answer is: Never eat raw green tomatoes! Make sure they are cooked before consuming!
We were searching for a recipe for tomato sauce in an old Italian cookbook when we ran across this recipe for a green tomato jam. The recipe called for a base of Wild Flower Honey and sugar to make a rich golden base. Since we didn’t have enough honey, we substituted in some brown sugar, which ended up making the base rich and caramely.
Fresh squeezed lemon juice and lemon zest give a fresh citrus burst! This balances out the sweetness of the sugar base and brings the tartness of the tomatoes out.
Use this as a spread on toast, compote with a Petrified Wood Cheese Board, or as a complimentary topping for a crostini. Try this recipe and you might just find yourself looking forward to those fall days where the tomatoes stay green!
Like this recipe? Try these below, too!
Other Green Tomato Recipes
- Green Tomato Soup – Epicurious
- Green Tomato Salsa Verde – Montana Homesteader
- Grilled Green Tomatoes – White on Rice Couple
- Southern Fried Green Tomatoes – Divas Can Cook
- Fried Green Tomato and Bacon Grilled Cheese Sandwich – Spicy Southern Kitchen
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup brown sugar
- fresh lemon zest
- 6-8 medium green tomatoes
Rough chop the tomatoes and place into a non-reactive sauce pan.
Add salt, sugar and lemon juice to the pan and place pan over medium heat.
Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring all the while to help break down the tomatoes and fully mix the ingredients.
Once at a boil, reduce heat to medium low, allowing the mixture to simmer for 35-40 minutes, stirring regularly to keep the mixture from scorching.
With about 5 minutes left on the simmer, add in vanilla and lemon zest. Stir until fully incorporated.
Pour the hot mixture into a strainer and remove the seeds and skin.
Place the strained mixture into a mason jar and allow to cool.
Will keep in the fridge for about 1 week.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 69 Total Fat: 0.1g Saturated Fat: 0g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 38mg Carbohydrates: 17.9g Fiber: 0.3g Sugar: 17.6g Protein: 0.2g
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