With subfreezing temperatures predicted for later this weekend I went ahead and picked all the peppers, big and small. I didn’t have much of a garden this year other than a handful of pepper plants and an odd assortment of other individual plants scattered here and there on the property. I allowed much of the backyard to deteriorate into the chaos of a jungle. I didn’t plant tomatoes this year but in one of the abandoned planting beds little wild tomato plants sprang up voluntarily as thick as the hair on a dog’s back. While I was picking the peppers I noticed there were quite a few small green tomatoes on those wild vines. I picked a number of them too and brought them in the house.
So what to do with green tomatoes? “Fried green tomatoes” didn’t even come into consideration. I avoid frying for the most part, besides, these tomatoes were small. Considering my penchant for Southwestern flavors and all things spicy, it wasn’t a difficult decision to go with green tomato salsa.
My vision was to include flavors of roasting and caramelization as well as raw freshness and the mild spicy warmth of jalapeño peppers.
Green tomatoes were drizzled with olive oil, seasoned with kosher salt and lightly dusted with sugar. They were roasted by broiling in the oven.
Onion and garlic were caramelized in olive oil with a light sprinkling of kosher salt and sugar. The roasted green tomatoes and caramelized onion and garlic were then blended to a purée.
I wanted to add elements of texture, raw freshness and flavor to the purée. Cumin seeds and diced green tomatoes were caramelized with a little olive oil. (for convenience, since it was already in use, I used the Oven Central with the lid open).
In addition to the cooked diced tomatoes I also added diced raw green tomatoes, minced young jalapeños (seeds and all), minced large jalapeños (seeded) and chopped sweet onion.
Tasting revealed the need for more salt, the juice of a couple limes, apple cider vinegar, a touch more sugar, powdered cumin and powdered jalapeño (must have used more mild jalapeños than hot).
The green tomato salsa will be kept in the refrigerator to be used in the next week or two. For a longer refrigerator life I didn’t include cilantro. That can be added at time of use.