SO many things to do with green tomatoes

I have a friend and neighbor who has an extraordinary garden. She lives in the next neighborhood over from me, where there are huge houses that fill up most of the lot. When she moved into the house it had normal and unremarkable lawn. A few years later (and a pandemic spent gardening) this house is engulfed in roses, herbs and vegetables. It looks like something from sleeping beauty. People who pass by, stop in their tracks with their jaws on the sidewalk or huge grins on their faces. Children make up stories about the beautiful witch who lives inside…and their stories are eerily perceptive. If looking at photos of beautiful gardens makes you happy you can follow this one @WestminsterShabby on instagram. When you do, just stop and appreciate that this magic has been created deep in a borough of New York City.

For the last two autumns my friend has invited me to come and harvest as much food as I want from her front garden. Last year she was renovating her kitchen and this year she was out of town. She, like me, does not like the idea of food going to waste. Last year I harvested 40 pounds of green tomatoes and carried them home on the public bus, festooned with lavendar, sage and basil.

I ended up trying out a bunch of methods for preserving the tomatoes (and using them in cocktails!), which I will share later in the post. This year I created a roasted green tomato and squash recipe that I am ridiculously proud of so, I’m going to start there!

Roasted Green Tomatoes and Winter Squash with Miso & Harissa

This is a very easy recipe to make. If you live somewhere that still has green tomatoes at the end of November I implore you to make it for your Thanksgiving meal. It makes ALOT. If you are not feeding your entire extended family or friend group, still make the whole amount! It keeps beautifully in the fridge and makes for an easy lunch or dinner reheated and tossed onto a bed of arugula, which tastes nice and spicy this time of year. I’m talking about adult arugula. I do not understand the appeal of baby arugula or any green that comes in a plastic tub.

This is a mash up of two recipes. The roasted green tomatoes with kabocha pumpkin recipe from the excellent New Vegetarian Epicure by Anna Thomas and a sauce used for a different roasted vegetable recipe from A Modern Cook’s Year (a book I did not like except for this sauce).


  • 2 pounds green tomatoes
  • 1 small Kabocha or Butternut Squash (2-3 pounds)
  • 1 and 1/2 pound red onions
  • 1 and 1/4 pound red skinned or yukon gold potatoes
  • 6 small or 8 large cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 6 Tablespoons white miso
  • the juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/4 cup harissa paste (or some other chili paste that you like and have)


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  2. Cut the Squash in half, scoop and discard the seeds. Peel the halves and cut them into 3/4 inch cube. Cut the green tomatoes in 1 inch chunks. Cut the onions in half, peel them and cut them into thin wedges. Scrub the potatoes and cut them into the same size as the squash or smaller. Peel the garlic cloves and halve them lengthwize if they are large.
  3. Whisk the olive oil, miso, lemon juice and harissa together.
  4. Toss the vegetabes with half of the harissa mixture and divide the vegetables between two large baking trays. Cook the vegetables for 40-80 minutes, turning every 20 minutes, until everything is cooked through and browning. Don’t let it burn.
  5. Drizzle with the remaining harissa miso mixture and serve hot or room temperature. Keeps well in the fridge for lunches. I like to serve it on Arugula.

Edna Lewis’ Preserved Tomatoes (kind of)

Edna Lewis was a phenominal chef and cookbook author who is credited with bringing Southern cuisine at it’s finest to the North. We read her book The Taste of Country Cooking in my cookbook club a while back, so when I came into this bumper crop of green tomatoes I followed her recipe. If you want that recipe, I recommend that you follow the link and buy her book. It produced SO MANY cans of preserved green tomatoes that I am unsure I would do it again. I would do it on a smaller scale and that is what I am providing a recipe for here. I enjoy the preserved tomatoes cut up as a topping for crackers and brie. This is excellent for a holiday cheese platter. The surpise about this recipe was that the syrup that the sugar and green tomatoes produced was a dark, ripe red! It truly felt like magic and inspired the Blood of the Green Tomato Cocktail (see photos and recipe below) which I have been drinking all year….I made SO many cans of preserved green tomatoes. Here is a mini version.


  • 1 pound of green tomatoes (2 to 2 and 1/2 inches in diameter)
  • 1 pound sugar
  • 1 1/4 inch slice of lemon


Wash and dry the tomatoes. Examine them to make sure that none of them have worms. Slice the stem side off making a smooth flat surface and cut away any blemishes. Prick the tomatoes in four or five places and place them along with the sugar in a large pot overnight. In the morning the sugar should have dissolved (this did not happen for me! I had to add a bit of water). Add the lemon and cook the pot over medium heat or until the tomatoes become tanslucent. This takes about an hour. In Edna Lewis’ real recipe, there is another day of letting the tomatoes cool and then boiling them, then straining them and boiling them again. I did not do all of that. I just let my tomatoes cool in the syrup and then put them in a sterilized jar in the fridge.

Blood of the Green Tomato Cocktail

I invented this cocktail to use use up the syrup from the preserved green tomato recipe (above). The syrup has the most beautiful red color and a sweet umami tomato flavor. You can see it sunk to the bottom of the glass in the photo above. It’s a vodka cocktail, because I had recently cooked the Garden of Alchemy Dinner, which served Crystal Head Vodka and we had some of this lovely stuff leftover. I’m not usually a big vodka drinker but it is excellent here!


  • 2-3 Tablespoons of green tomato syrup (depending on how sweet you like your drinks)
  • 1/4 cup of lime juice
  • 1/3 cup good quality vodka
  • 2 dashes of bitters (I like exorcism bitters but any bitter that has a bit of anise or fennel flavour will work)
  • A sprig of fresh basil
  • A big ice cube
  • As much seltzer as you like to top


I have made this premixed in big mason jars to take to parties (just add the ice, basil and seltzer at the last moment). When I make it for myself I just throw everything into the glass and swirl it with my finger, because I’m classy like that. Don’t skip the bitters and fresh basil!

Regina Wickham’s Green Tomato Jam

This is a recipe from Regina Wickham, who is also the potter who made the beautiful bowl featured in the roasted green tomato photos above. She used to host an aritst residency in her home upstate which I attended both as an artist and a cook. She is a very cool lady who knows what to do with green tomatoes. I love this jam with crackers and cheese for a fancy holiday cheese board even more than I love Edna Lewis’ preserved green tomatoes. This is green tomato flirting with marmalade.



  • 1 pound green tomatoes
  • 3 cups sugar
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • juice and zest of 1 orange 


Chop the green tomatoes in a food processor. Combine all of the ingredients in a pot and simmer for 3 hours.  It may need some water toward the end. I just store the jam in a sealed jar in the fridge.

Green Tomato Chutney

I followed Melissa Fernandez’ recipe from New York Times Cooking. It was great. Here I’ve included options for some substitiutions. Part of the beauty of making chutney is just that you should be able to throw it together with what you’ve got. This one wins the prize for being the fastest thing to do with your green tomatoes. Also, I personally eat chutney with all kinds of food (not JUST on a fancy cheese platter for the holdiays). I especially like to have chutney with Vegetable Pakoras or in Aloo Chaat Oven Fries.


  • I pound green tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 of a white onion (yellow and red both work fine too!), chopped
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins (or dark raisins or currents)
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice (ground clove would work also)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup apple cider (white vinegar, rice vinegar or sherry vinegar would all be fine substitutes)
  • 1 cup brown sugar


Simmer everything in a small covered sauce pan for 30 minutes.

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