Last week my husband cleared out all the sad, depressed tomato and tomatillo plants. The days have gotten cooler and the nights are down right chilly which makes the plants sulk and stop producing fruit.
Plus, I was just really, really tired of dealing with tomatoes and tomatillos. Which is a good indication that it’s time to stop.
(See how my moods are in perfect sync with Mother Nature? It’s a gift. And thanks to my obsession with Tim Gunn and Project Runway, every time I hear the word ‘mood’ I immediately think in my head “Thank you Mood!” Occasionally, my obsessive television watching comes back to bite me in the butt.)
Anywho, back to the topic at hand.
The tomatillo harvest was pretty phenomenal this year. I got over three galloons of that tiny green fruit. Last night I canned eight pints of salsa verde (all while watching The X-Files of course- it’s the only way to can at night.)
But the real story here is what I did with the gazillion green tomatoes that my husband brought in. Green tomatoes always fill me with dread, every season. They want so badly to be juicy, delicious, red fruits but nature has denied them their life’s ambition. It’s so sad watching tomato potential get squandered like that.
Also, I hate wasting food and there are only so many times I can eat fried green tomatoes. So I needed to find something to do with the island of misfit vegetables I had collected in my kitchen.
That is when I stumbled upon this recipe for green tomato salsa verde. I made a few adjustments here and there and came up with something that is darned near close to perfection.
And because I love you, I’m going to share the recipe with you.
Green Tomato Salsa Verde
6-7 pounds of green tomatoes, cored and chopped
3 yellow onions finely chopped
3 jalapenos finely chopped (please be careful and don’t mess with your contacts after working with jalapenos without washing your hands. I speak from sad experience.)
1-2 cans of diced green chilies
9 cloves of garlic, peeled and nicely chopped
3 tablespoons of pickling salt* (I usually only do 2 tablespoons, got to protect the kidneys and all that jazz.)
4 teaspoons of ground cumin
3/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
the juice and zest from 1 lime
optional- if you have a sweet tooth (or find the whole concoction too acidic) you might want to had a tablespoon or two of sugar. You may also a cup of coarsely chopped cilantro leaves if you are fortunate enough to not live with cilantro nazis.
Cook the green tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, canned chilies, garlic, salt, cumin, and apple cider vinegar in a sturdy, stock pot. Bring everything to a boil and cook for twenty minutes. The tomatoes have lots of juice in them, so I like to let it boil without the lid so as to evaporate some of the liquid.
After twenty minutes add the lime juice and lime zest. Also add the sugar if you like things less acid. Cook for an addition ten minutes, then check the taste. Add any additional salt/sugar/or lime juice as needed.
Either puree the mixture in batches in a blender or use your handy-dandy immersion blender and smooth everything out.
(I would just like to say for the record that I love my immersion blender. I love it so bad. I love it so, so bad.)
Fill sterilized pint jars and process in a water bath canner for 20 minutes.
You can use this green tomato salsa verde over enchiladas and have your own fiesta. Or, you can use one jar of this green deliciousness with one bar of soft cream cheese and thereby create the world’s best chip dip. (Trust me, I would never lead you astray when chips are on the line.)
Or you could just take a bath in it and call it good. I won’t judge you.
It doesn’t matter exactly what you do with this green tomato salsa verde once you make it. Then important thing is to just make it. And make it soon.