Green tomatoes at this time of year are unlikely to have enough daylight hours to ripen, but that isn’t a reason to despair! Green tomatoes are entirely edible and I really enjoy their fresh crunchiness. Every year I make a green tomato chutney using the tomatoes that are left on the plants too late into the autumn to have any real chance of ripening. It’s a great way to avoid wasting them, and my family absolutely love the stuff! In the American South they are dipped in cornmeal and fried until crispy as a seasonal summer dish. I really don’t know why we don’t make better use of green tomatoes, especially given our climate and pattern of daylight hours.
This salad is inspired by a dish I tasted in Myanmar last year when visiting Inle Lake. I ordered this in the night market and the freshness of the locally grown green tomatoes was perfect alongside the delicious curries and hot & spicy stir fries. This year I knew I wanted to have a go at creating my own version for my homegrown green toms. I’m not going to claim that this is a truly authentic version of this traditional Inle dish, but I feel it comes pretty close to the mark and I certainly enjoy eating it.
Green tomatoes are rarely available to buy outside of farmers markets, but the beauty of growing your own is in the freedom to harvest your tomatoes whenever you like. I think enjoying this fresh salad is a lovely way to celebrate a seasonal ingredient that really only comes around once a year. I’ll be trying the fried version soon…
Green Tomato Salad Recipe
- 4-5 green tomatoes, sliced
- 1 red asian shallot, sliced
- 2 tbsp unsalted peanuts
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp groundnut oil
- Juice of half a lime
- Pinch salt
- Sesame seeds
- chilli flakes
- Fresh coriander
- Toast the peanuts in a dry pan until starting to brown, taking care that they don’t burn. Once toasted, crush to a coarse powder in a pestle and mortar or spice grinder.
- Fry the garlic in the peanut oil until golden and crispy. Set aside until cool, reserving the garlic-infused oil.
- In a bowl, mix the sliced shallot with the lime juice, then stir in the crushed peanuts, garlic, garlic oil, and salt. Add the sliced green tomatoes to the bowl and stir until they are covered in the dressing.
- Serve the tomatoes garnished with sesame seeds, chilli flakes and fresh coriander.
I hope this gives you a new way of looking at green tomatoes and reason to be excited about them not ripening instead of dismay! As always, do le me know what you think of this recipe and if you do decide to give it a go. Feel free to pop it up on Instagram and tag me @plotandlane as I always love to see your creations.
Subscribe to the Plot & Lane newsletter
If you would like to get some seasonal recipes and general inspiration for living more seasonally, growing your own and foraging, do sign up to my monthly newsletters using the box below.