Sadly, tomato season is now over. And for most of us, that means we end up with a bunch of tomatoes that are in various states of ripeness. Ordinarily, I bring them all in and let them ripen (I just put them on a piece of cardboard in the basement and lay a sheet of newspaper over the top) to get one last batch of sauce.
But rather than the usual sauce, this year I wanted to try something a little different and make a green tomato salsa (or relish). I’ve had fried green tomatoes, but green tomatoes aren’t really something that’s on the menu around here (I prefer mine to be vine-ripened and juicy, but come October, it’s not really an option anymore). So in the spirit of experimentation, I gathered up what green orbs were left in the garden and got to work.
Many green tomato salsas are pretty heavy on the vinegar, yielding something that is palatable, but maybe a little harsh. But green tomatoes have a unique tartness that I wanted to shine through, rather than be drowned in vinegar. So I sniffed around until I found a good recipe template – one that’s not heavy on the vinegar, doesn’t use any added sugar (another common problem with relishes), and incorporates a little apple for a hint of sweetness.
What’s more, this recipe will help you use up some other end-of-season pickings from the garden – peppers (which always seem to be hitting their stride just before getting hit by frost), onions, cilantro, and apples. This green tomato salsa is tart and tangy, but mellowed enough by the apple that you could just about eat it by the spoonful. In fact, you may even want to start saving green tomatoes specifically for this!