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Home on the Range: Green Tomato Salsa


Green tomato salsa - MELISSA PASANEN ©️ SEVEN DAYS
  • Melissa Pasanen ©️ Seven Days
  • Green tomato salsa
Falling leaves are temporarily recarpeting  my front yard, turning it from green to  variegated reds and golds. I'm bargaining with the squirrels and birds for my share of apples from our small tree. And I'm watching the forecast carefully, hoping to pull a few more ripe tomatoes from my garden before frost.

Although green tomatoes can turn red indoors, they never taste quite the same as those ripened on the vine. Each disappointing bite only hammers home the wistful reminder that summer is definitely over.  I prefer to use them in ways that let their true tart and sturdy personality shine.

A recipe recently landed in my in box via Red Wagon Plants in Hinesburg that presented a great option for my green tomatoes: a way to turn them into something delicious with the help of peppers and cilantro from my garden and CSA share.

The recipe for salsa verde comes originally from a website called Local Kitchen and is written for tomatillos, which are similar in taste and texture to green tomatoes. The level of heat from chili peppers and optional chili flakes is up to the maker.

The roughly 5-cup yield is small enough that prep doesn't take long, and you don't need to get involved in the multi-step process of canning. I gifted one large jar and the remaining one will last several weeks in the fridge.

I can think of many ways to deploy this salsa: slathered over grilled seafood, chicken, pork or any type of burger; dolloped onto tacos, grain bowls or eggs; and spread generously on cheese or hummus sandwiches.

In fact, now I'm kind of annoyed with myself that I didn't double the recipe as the Red Wagon blog encourages. 
Ingredients for green tomato salsa - MELISSA PASANEN ©️ SEVEN DAYS
  • Melissa Pasanen ©️ Seven Days
  • Ingredients for green tomato salsa

Green Tomato Salsa

Makes about 5 cups

  • 4 cups finely chopped green tomatoes (about 2 pounds)
  • ½ cup finely diced red onion
  • ½ cup seeded and finely diced bell peppers (any color)
  • ¼-½ cup seeded and minced chili peppers (to taste and depending on heat level of peppers)
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons cider vinegar (sub: white wine vinegar)
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup, optional (sub: 1 teaspoon sugar)
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • ¾ teaspoon coarse salt, plus more to taste
  • ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
  • ¼ teaspoon chili flakes, optional
  1. Combine all ingredients except for cilantro in a large, heavy-bottomed pot set over high heat. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to an active simmer.
  2. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes until the vegetables have broken down and the salsa has thickened slightly.
  3. Stir in the cilantro and return the mixture to a simmer. Taste and add salt or increase heat level with chili flakes as desired.
  4. Pour into clean jars and cool on counter before refrigerating. If canning for pantry storage, Local Kitchen has a good guide.
Source: Slightly adapted from Red Wagon Plants and Local Kitchen.

Got cooking questions? Email pasanen@sevendaysvt.com