By the time the first frost arrives, tomato gardeners are often so sick and tired of their tomato crop, they let the green ones freeze on the vine.
Too bad because cooked green tomatoes really don't taste anything like their ripened relatives. And they make splendid preserves to use later in the year when you'd give anything to have your vegetable garden in bloom.
Here are several simple recipes to save the green tomatoes - some for immediate enjoyment, the others for future pleasure. Even those that are preserved require nothing more elaborate than sterilized jars. GREEN TOMATO CHUTNEY (6 pints) 6 cups chopped green tomatoes 1 clove garlic, minced 1/2 cup chopped onion 3/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger 12-ounce box raisins 2 cups cider vinegar 3 cups brown sugar 1/4 cup salt 1/4 teaspoon cayenne 1/2 teaspoon mace 1/2 teaspoon coriander
Combine all the ingredients and cook slowly in heavy pot for three hours. Spoon into hot sterilized jars and seal immediately. Allow to rest for one month at least before using. GREEN TOMATO RELISH (4 pints) 2 quarts peeled, sliced large green tomatoes 2 1/2 cups sliced onions 1 pint cider vinegar 1 cup sugar 2 tablespoons salt 1 tablespoon mustard seed 1 teaspoon peppercorns 1 cup diced celery 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
Place all ingredients in heavy pot and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer one hour. Spoon into hot sterilized jars and seal immediately. GREEN TOMATO SCALLOP (8 servings) 1 cup chopped celery 1/2 cup finely chopped onion 2 tablespoons butter or margarine 2 tablespoons flour 2 tablespoons sugar Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 1/4 teaspoon dried dill weed or 1 teaspoon fresh dill 4 slices bread, toasted and buttered 5 medium green tomatoes, chopped
Saute celery and onion in butter until tender. Blend in flour, sugar, salt, pepper and dill. Cut toast into small cubes. Add 3/4 of cubes with tomatoes to celery mixture. Place in 1 1/2 quart casserole and bake, covered, 55 minutes at 350 degrees. Uncover, top with remaining toast cubes and bake 5 minutes longer. ELKRIDGE GREEN TOMATOES (8 servings) 1/2 cup cornmeal 1/2 cup flour Salt and pepper to taste 6 medium green tomatoes 1/4 cup butter, approximately 3 tablespoon brown sugar
Combine the cornmeal, flour, salt and pepper. Slice the tomatoes in one-inch thick slices and dip in cornmeal mixture. Saute in hot butter in skillet until golden. Use more if needed. Sprinkle both sides of slices with brown sugar. Layer tomatoes in shallow greased casserole with slices overlapping and bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, or until heated through.
You can prepare the dish up to the baking and refrigerate, if desired. Then bake when ready to serve.