Post #G31: When life gives you green tomatoes …

Posted on October 15, 2020

… pickle them.  Because they are delicious.

In fact, I had planned to can these once they were fully fermented.  But after tasting a few, I don’t think they’re going to be around long enough for that to happen.  Crunchy, sour, no off notes, and just a hint of that green tomato taste.

To the left you see a batch that’s just a few days old, and to the right, a batch that’s fully fermented.  The volume of tomatoes shrank quite a bit during fermentation.  (That batch is still cloudy because I used regular table salt instead of kosher or pickling salt.)

When I do lacto-fermentation, I don’t normally stray from the Big Two:  Cabbage and Cucumber.  I reluctantly made an exception here, due to the large number of tomato vines in my garden that are now dying back with green fruit still on the vine.  Hence, the title of this post.

If you’re in the same situation, I suggest you give it a try.  Take your green tomatoes, clean them, quarter or halve the larger ones, pour some brine over them, weight them down, and, barring any better method available, just screw a lid on loosely.  And wait.  As described in Post #G23.  Or in a gazillion other places on the internet, starting with the the USDA canning guidelines, Section 6 (.pdf).

The ferment on these was a little more low-key than I am used to.  Took a while to get going.  But there’s no arguing with the results.

That said, go easy on these, particularly if you have gut issues.  Let me just say, you probably don’t want to eat these on an empty stomach.  They contain all kinds of odd, biologically active alkaloids.  (As do many other foods, for that matter).  But of those, tomatine increases the permeability of the gut (at least in vitro).  If you have issues related to gut health, arguable the best thing you can do with green tomatoes is compost them.