I’m sure everyone thinks of the Whistle Stop Cafè and Fanny Flagg in her country overalls making famous - fried green tomatoes. But I’m not frying green tomatoes today instead conserving them under oil. One of my Nonna’s recipes.
An image comes to mind of when I was little…helping my Nonna pick green tomatoes ready for conserving under oil…I remember how I use to sit at the farms laminated kitchen table and watch my Nonna prepare jars and jars of green tomatoes.I instantly think of this image every year when the gardens full of tomato bushes with their plentiful supply of juicy plump tomatoes. So sneaking out to grab a few green tomatoes, I’m on the run to get them pickled and undercover before anyone notices…
Recipe: Preserved Green Tomatoes
1 kg of green firm tomatoes
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup of water
fine table salt
estimated guess 300ml of olive oil depending on jar size.
1 garlic clove
oregano and fennel seeds
Slice the green tomatoes into thin slices,layering and salting them,place in a colander to drain.
Place a plate and something heavy on them , (a few cans of peas will do fine) and leave in sink overnight.
The next day, bring to the boil 1 cup of water and 1 cup of white vinegar.
Turn off heat, when this mixture has cooled a little… the fun begins.
Then in sterilized glass jars layer the green tomatoes with a sprinkle of oregano, fennel seeds, and thinly sliced garlic.Layering to the top and pressing down,so that they’re packed in tightly…clearing all air bubbles.Leave the jars over night,opened,but covered,the next morning check the level of oil at the rim of the jar…you may need to add more oil.Close tightly the lid and leave in a cool, dark place.
After a few weeks, this method of conserving , leaves the green tomatoes softened, to be accompanied with fresh bread and a cheese platter,or even an oven roasted pork roll.
It’s a traditional method of conserving green tomatoes, and one that you should try…