As the family legend has it, on the night before I was born, my mother cooked a pizza topped with sliced green tomatoes, and the next morning, pop! There I was. (Though, truth be told, it may actually have taken a bit more effort than I’m leading on…)
I won’t go so far as to call green tomatoes some kind of folk remedy for inducing labor, but perhaps they provide a good incentive for anyone taking their sweet time in the womb.
Now that I’ve been out in the world a few years, I’ve discovered all kinds of other ideas for what to do with green tomatoes.
My first suggestion would be that you take just a little time and invest it in making a green tomato chow chow. If you can a batch now, you’ll have it this winter, and it really is just divine, especially when mixed into bean soups, egg salads or (my very favorite) served alongside grilled/broiled meat or fish. Nom!
But if you happen to have a few green tomatoes and not much time to spare, I’d recommend gazpacho. It’s easy, it’s low-key and since it’s not a cooked dish, you won’t heat up the kitchen. Or even break a sweat, to be perfectly honest.
Supremely Easy Green Tomato Gazpacho
- 2 cups green tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 1 cup green or yellow pepper, roughly chopped
- 1 tsp garlic (about 2 small or 1 large clove)
- 1 cup Kirby cucumber, roughly chopped
- 1 Tbsp jalapeño pepper, seeds removed (optional)
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs or 1/2 slice stale bread, torn to pieces
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 Tbsp wine vinegar (sherry vinegar is a classic choice)
- 1 tsp dried oregano (or 1/2 tsp fresh oregano)
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce (optional)
- Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
- In a blender or food processor, purée the tomatoes, peppers, garlic, cucumber and jalapeño pepper, if using.
- Add the breadcrumbs or torn pieces, olive oil and vinegar. Pulse to incorporate.
- Stir in the oregano and Worcestershire.
- Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper to adjust to your desired flavor.
- Chill for at least three hours (or overnight).
- Serve chilled or at room temperature. Garnish, if desired (I like chopped cilantro, 1/2” cubes of cucumber or tomato, sliced green onions and/or cubed avocado). It’s great with chewy baguette slices and a side salad.
The beauty of a gazpacho is that it’s so flexible and so forgiving. You can leave it chunky or make it really smooth. You can really even drop half the ingredients here and still come out with a tasty soup, though this happens to be the formula I like.
Huh! Funny how that happens! Yes, folks. You’re on to me. It’s all about theme and variation here at Chez Ginsu…