4 Things To Do With Green Tomatoes

Apr 29, 2014

As Autumn starts to wind up, two things happen in our home.

1. We start to wear jumpers again, lots of them, and

2. All our baskets, kitchen bowls, pots and buckets end up in the garden as harvest vessels for fresh produce. Recently they’re been full of tomatoes, especially green ones as it’s time to make way for winter crops and green manures, so we ripped them out ruthlessly.

But what do you do with over 40kg of green tomatoes? Here are some options, some good, some great and some I’m not so sure about -but here they are anyway.

2014-04-27 08.53.37

1. Green Tomato Chutney

This option is quick, easy and tasty – a highly desirable combination. What recipe do I use? Well I used to have an old CWA (Country Women’s Association) cook book with some solid recipes which I loosely followed, but just halved the sugar they recommended. These days I don’t follow a recipe at all, so it’s different every time… Sorry. But I looked around for you and you can see some recipes here and here. We love having too much chutney on our shelves as we gift it to our friends and also use it to feed a lot of our students when running workshops.


16 litres of tomatoes dedicated to chutney – around 18 big jars worth


2. Hang the plants upside down to ripen

Again it’s quick, easy and tasty – you’ll find this theme in all food related things with me. I would do this to more plants if I had the space as you get to have fresh tomatoes well into Winter – such a treat for our cold temperate climate. To do this, choose some of the best plants and/or branches and hang them up inside your house or garden shed (as long as they are no rodents). The tomatoes will ripen slowly as the plant’s life literally drains into the fruit – kind of magical.

2014-04-28 11.37.10

A good couple of bunches hanging in our sun room upside down – slowing ripening

3. Fried Green Tomatoes

Apparently this is a southern American ‘thing’. The general idea is you slice your tomatoes, dip them in a thick batter and fry them. The ones we made weren’t so amazing as we didn’t make the batter thick enough and cut the tomatoes too thick – we didn’t follow a recipe, but should have. Anyway, there are heaps of recipes out there you can (and should) follow including this one, that one plus there are also around 20 recipes for green tomato related stuff here.

2014-04-27 19.25.54

A crowded stove cooking chutney on the left and fried toms on the right

4. Fermented Chow Chow

This is the one I’m most excited about and only just discovered – Basically it’s the same as making sauerkraut or kim chi, but it’s based on green tomatoes and cabbage. It doesn’t sound ‘right’, but it works – you can see the full recipe and process here.

We made around 6kg worth of this stuff with green tomatoes, kale from our garden (instead of cabbage) chilli, apple (our own touch) and carrot. It’s been sitting on our kitchen bench for the past two days and it’s smelling and tasting gooooood. Like I said, this is a pretty exciting break through in green tomato world.

chow chow

We didn’t have a bowl big enough to massage the chow chow so just tipped it out onto the bench, which I don’t really recommend as it gets a bit juicy and messy – but it was fun.

We also roasted a whole bunch of them as Google told us they’d be great – but they weren’t, they were too acidic to eat without making a strange face, so I added them to the chutney pot instead.

kitchen bench

The tomatoes which are not quite ripe go on our rather crowded and colourful kitchen bench (sorry for the blurry photo) where they’ll ripen nicely over a few days or so. I make sure I put them in shallow trays and small bowls so I can see them all and eat them when they need to be eaten. Otherwise there’s a tendency for them to rot when you put them in big bowls – less air flow.

2014-04-28 11.45.44

And after all that, there’s still more. It’s almost exhausting processing them in between all the other projects on the go – but jeeze, it’s not really something to whinge about, we are blessed.

Thanks to the garden gods and goddesses for an abundant tomato crop, until next year!

* Your blogger is Hannah Moloney, co-director of Good Life Permaculture and love of all things fun and garden-esk.

your thoughts:


  1. Daily

    this recepies sounds interesting… will try them out when ill have tomatos in my garden 🙂 and this blog goes to my favourite

  2. Megan Trousdale

    Hi there, loving your post on green tomatoes. You have inspired me to try the green tomato chutney and it is smelling great, simmering away on the stove. I would like to try the fermented chow chow but the link isn’t working. Would you mind emailing me the recipe please? Thanks, Megan

  3. Lisa

    We have ours sliced and pan fried and served with crispy pan fried morcilla. Serve on a shaved fennel and parsey salad. My husband has perfected this and the acidic tomatoes cut through the rich sausage perfectly. Of course, this will only use up a small amount of your green tomatoes it’s worth trying.

    • Hannah Moloney

      Nice one Lisa,
      The more recipes we know of the better :-).


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You might also like…

Reo Mesh Garden Arches

Reo Mesh Garden Arches

I'm a big fan of reinforcement mesh (aka reo mash) as a material to use for making simple and super strong and versatile structures for plants to grow on. I'm always keeping an eye out for scraps of the meh at our local tip shop, alas it's highly sort after. So...

Verticillium Wilt In Your Fruit Trees? Bugger.

Verticillium Wilt In Your Fruit Trees? Bugger.

Over the past few years I've been trying to figure out what's wrong with my two apricot trees as they've never really thrived. Symptoms included not fruiting well, sparse leaf and dead wood starting to appear in the canopy branches. Finally this year while we were...

How To Make Yacon Syrup

How To Make Yacon Syrup

I grew Yacon/Peruvian ground apple (Smallanthus sonchifolius) for the first time this past season and I'm a huge fan. I scored the tubers from a fellow keen gardener, Matt, who lives around the corner from me. He popped a few tubers in my hand and I popped them in my...

Home Harvest 2023: Host Call Out!

Home Harvest 2023: Host Call Out!

We’re happy to announce we’re working with Eat Well Tasmania and Sustainable Living Tasmania to hold our fourth annual “Home Harvest” garden tour in the nipaluna/Hobart region!  Special thanks to the City of Hobart for funding this great initiative. Home Harvest is going to be a one day event on Sunday March 19th, 2023 in and around nipaluna/Hobart where […]

Crowdsourcing Photos For My New Book!

Crowdsourcing Photos For My New Book!

Hi Friends, I’m in the process of writing my second book about how to grow food in any climate in Australia (due out late 2023 with Affirm Press). As it’s covering the whole, vast country I would so very dearly love to include photos of edible gardens in different climates to show folks what’s possible […]

Mounding Potatoes – Or Not

Mounding Potatoes – Or Not

There are many varieties of potatoes (aka spuds) but only two key categories they all fall into. Determinate and indeterminate. Determinate potatoes don’t grow very tall and only produce spuds in one layer of soil so you don’t need to mound them. They also generally mature quicker than indeterminate types, a good thing to know […]

Eat Those Weeds

Eat Those Weeds

I’m a big fan of eating weeds. But first, what even is a weed? A common description is that it’s simply a plant in the wrong place – meaning us humans don’t want it there as it may be compromising the ecological integrity of that place or crowding other plants we want to thrive. But […]

How To Grow Food From Scraps

How To Grow Food From Scraps

As I have a large garden and the luxury of space, I don’t usually make time to experiment with growing food in tight spaces. But I’ve always been curious about growing food from scraps. So I made the time – thank you curiosity. I saved some scraps from going straight into the compost bin and […]

Vote For Gardening Australia!

Vote For Gardening Australia!

Hello Dear Friends, I have two bits of exciting news to share with you, which can be summed up with Costa’s (host of Gardening Australia) gorgeous smile below… After being a guest presenter on Gardening Australia since 2019, I recently became an official permanent member of their team. Oh the joy!!! This is very exciting […]

Home Harvest 2022

Home Harvest 2022

We’ve just wrapped up our third Home Harvest. It was so good that I’m sharing it with you here. But first, what even is it?? Funded by the City of Hobart and supported by Eat Well Tasmania and Sustainable Living Tasmania, Home Harvest is a one day self guided edible garden tour around the nipaluna/Hobart […]