I went online to find recipes, and discovered that green tomatoes are as safe to can as ripe ones, or maybe more so, since they are more acidic. I decided to make green tomato salsa first. I didn’t follow the recipe exactly, but the changes I made would have made it safer, since I reduced the volume of peppers. This is the proportions I used; you can find the original recipe here:
1.5 kilos green tomatoes
400 gm onions
2 small HOT peppers plus several milder ones (recipe called for 250 gm; I used more like 50-100 gm)
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup vinegar (called for lime juice, which I didn’t have)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
I coarsely chopped the tomatoes and onions, then put the peppers and garlic in the blender with the vinegar. After adding the vinegar mixture to the pot, I mixed in the salt and pepper, then brought the whole lot to a boil. I did 4-7 times this amount in each pot, using three pots at a time. And here’s a tip if you do something like this: weigh the tomatoes after chopping, then use a dry-erase marker to write the weights on the outside of the pot. It washes off easily when you’re done, and you don’t lose track of how many batches you’re making! I just discovered that this year. After the salsa has boiled for a little while, put in jars and seal. We don’t like this for eating as salsa, but it’s great in soups. I’m planning to use it through the year when I am making a soup that I want some spice in; I won’t have to chop onions for the soup, either!
Here are the jars of this salsa that we canned. A lot of the tomatoes were half ripe, which is why it looks fairly red. (I should mention that the reason we didn’t leave them to finish ripening was that the slugs were getting them and they would have rotted before ripening.)
I also experimented with pickling green tomatoes (results aren’t in yet), and made a few pots of half-ripe ones into juice. It’s not quite as tasty as juice from ripe tomatoes, but when I use it with ripe ones, we don’t mind it at all. Just a way to squeeze a little more production out of the garden!
All fruit and vege shops were shut down during lockdown, and we don’t have any on the Coast anyway. However, I have my own private one. One day I went out “shopping” and this was what I brought home for dinner. So much fun! I love walking out to the garden every afternoon to harvest what we need for that evening’s meal, and getting the rest from the freezer or jar room. We are rich, and I am thankful God has given us this place where we can grow so much food. (I think it’s good for my mental health as well as our physical health, too!)