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Green tomato is the unripe tomatoes, which is the fruit of the plant Lycopersicon lycopersicum and is a member of the Solanaceae, or Nightshade family. Green tomatoes have fleshy internal segments filled with slippery seeds surrounded by a watery matrix. Cooking tempers the acid and bitter qualities in tomatoes and brings out their warm, rich, sweetness.Although green tomatoes are wonderful when cooked or pickled, they should be avoided in large amounts when raw.
Green tomatoes contain large amounts of tomatine, a toxin in the same alkaloid family as solanine which may be found in green potatoes, another member of the nightshade family.
Chopped green tomatoes
Take a sharp knife, slice it from the top and then cut it into half from the centre. Cut the half portion into another half and remove the seeds from centre. Chop the tomato by cutting them in small pieces approximately ¼ inch in diameter, although the chopped food doesn't need to be exactly the same size. If the recipe calls for the ingredients to be "coarsely chopped," make the pieces slightly larger. You can chop both green and red tomatoes in the same way mentioned above. If the recipe calls for peeled and chopped you can also chop a tomato by removing its skin and then chopping it to desired size as the recipe calls for.
Green tomato halves
Wash the green tomatoes thoroughly under cold water. With a sharp knife, halve the green tomato crosswise. To make any stuffed dish, use a rounded spoon handle, scoop out any remaining seeds and discard them.
Sliced green tomatoes
Holding the tomato vertically, slice using a sharp knife by cutting vertically across the cutting board. Slice them thinly or thickly as the recipe requirement, can used as a garnish or for recipes or salad.
How to select
Home-grown tomatoes are usually the best, but if you have to buy them, look for firm ones and pay attention to the fragrance. White specks mean they have been forced to ripen with gas.
· Slice the tomatoes into 1/4 - 1/2-inch slices. Salt and pepper them to taste. Dip in meal and fry in hot grease or oil about 3 minutes or until golden on bottom. Gently turn and fry the other side. Serve as a side dish - delicious with breakfast
· There are plenty of ways to coat and fry the green tomatoes; use bread crumbs, cracker crumbs, cornmeal, or flour
· Green tomatoes make for excellent pickles and can be added to any salad to add their tangy taste. Green tomato ketchup and pies are also delicacy.
· Green tomatoes can be used to prepare chutneys with green chillies and sugar or simply soak them in vinegar to prepare tomato vinaigrettes.
How to store
If you have an abundance of good fresh green tomatoes, freeze them whole. Just wash, dry, and put them in freezer bags. They'll retain their flavor, and once thawed the peel will slip off easily. Use them in any recipes calling for fresh tomatoes except salads.
· Lycopene is an antioxidant which purportedly fights the free radicals that can interfere with normal cell growth and activity. These free radicals can potentially lead to cancer, heart disease and premature aging.
· Green tomatoes are also high in vitamin C (concentrated the most in the juice sacs surrounding the seeds) and contain goodly amounts of potassium, iron, dietary fiber, phosphorus, vitamin A and vitamin B.
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