Green Tomatoes Are Good for So Much More Than Frying

Pickle them, puree them, or just eat them fresh

green tomatoes
Green TomatoesMatt Taylor-Gross

Ripeness is usually everything when it comes to choosing tomatoes. Each summer, though, I keep an eye out for firm, unripe green specimens to make one of my favorite tart pasta sauces. Even when cooked, green tomatoes have punch and brightness to them, and they retain a slight crunch, which lends texture to tender pasta noodles and clings to crusty bread. Simmering them briefly tames their puckery acidity a bit, but you could also leave green tomato sauce raw, tossing it with hot pasta to do the cooking for you.

Try This Green Tomato Pasta Sauce

Green Tomato Pasta Sauce
Green Tomato Pasta SauceMatt Taylor-Gross

In a food processor or blender, purée at least 6 coarsely chopped green tomatoes. Sauté a few slices of garlic in olive oil until aromatic, then add a handful of fresh basil and parsley (or any other herb you like), a few pinches of salt, and the puréed tomatoes. Simmer for about 15 minutes, or until you like the flavor and consistency. This recipe scales up easily; use on pasta or fish or as a base for vegetable soups, or nestle fried or baked eggs in a few cups of it for green shakshuka.

Or Try Fermenting Them