Must-have recipes for green tomatoes

  • By Judyrae Kruse
  • Tuesday, October 5, 2010 5:06pm
  • Life

On the homegrown tomato front, the always hoped-for, luscious red ripe ones have by and large lost the weather war this year. As usual, though, the green ones continue the fight.

They’re still hanging in there and, so far, hanging on. Nonetheless, it’s time to start bringing them in and making them earn their keep. With at least several readers describing the amount of green tomatoes to harvest as “bushels,” no wonder there’s a sudden huge demand for ways to get the job done.

First, then, we’ll have a wildly popular, much-requested recipe for Betty Barrows’ mild green taco sauce, which first appeared in the Forum years ago and is a must-have-again repeat with Forum cooks.

We couldn’t do without it, at our house, though nowadays we toss in a couple of coarsely chopped, large cloves of garlic, and a hefty helping of fresh jalapeno or serrano chiles, also coarsely chopped, to up the fire power. A bit of chunk to the sauce suits us best, too, so we only give it a quick whiz in the blender before divvying it up to freeze.

The second gotta-have-it-again green tomato specialty is Everett cook Nancy Thurmond’s green tomato bread. She first shared it in an Oct. 6, 2006, Forum column, and it continues to generate steady requests.

When Nancy introduced us to this quick-fix bread, she told us, “Sometimes, I will plant tomatoes just hoping that I’ll have some green ones.”

Come Friday, we’ll reprint a popular green tomato relish. Meanwhile, if you have one or some favorite green tomato recipes, don’t hesitate to send them along to Judyrae Kruse at the Forum, c/o The Herald, P.O. Box 930, Everett, WA 98206.

We’re always happy to receive your contributions and requests, but please remember that all letters and e-mail must include a name, complete address with ZIP code and telephone number with area code. No exceptions and sorry, but no response to e-mail by return e-mail; send to

Now for:

Betty Barrows’ mild green taco sauce

6 cups finely chopped green tomatoes, with juice

2medium onions, chopped

11/2cups cider vinegar

1/2teaspoon each black and cayenne peppers

11/2teaspoons pickling salt or regular salt

2tablespoons dry mustard

In a large, heavy saucepan, combine tomatoes, onions, vinegar, peppers, salt and dry mustard, mixing thoroughly. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 2 hours. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Pour mixture, 2 to 3 cups at a time, into blender container or food processor and process until smooth. Taste and correct seasonings, if necessary. Pour into suitable containers, seal, label and freeze.

Makes 3 pints.

Green tomato bread

2cups ground green tomatoes

1cup crushed pineapple


1cup oil

2cups sugar

1teaspoon salt

1tablespoon vanilla

3cups flour

11/4teaspoons baking soda

1/2teaspoon baking powder

1cup raisins or craisins

1cup nuts, chopped

Turn ground tomatoes and pineapple into strainer or colander and drain well; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs, then add oil, sugar, salt and vanilla, mixing thoroughly. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda and baking powder, then add to the egg mixture. Stir in the tomato-pineapple mixture, stirring well. Stir in raisins or craisins and nuts.

Pour batter into greased and floured loaf pans (no size given, but probably two 5-by-9-inch pans) and bake at 350 degrees about 1 hour or until tester comes out clean.

Makes 2 loaves.

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