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For a garden that’s been pretty much ignored and neglected, mine has produced a substantial amount of food for my kitchen. All in spite of the frequent visits from Mr. Groundhog and the constant harassment from the neighbor’s bamboo. The latest offering from it consisted of green tomatoes and shelling beans.

The beans weren’t actually shelling beans. They were overgrown green beans that I designated to use as shelling beans. The tomatoes, on the other hand, had reached the top of the bean trellis, which is 8 ft. tall. So I just wanted to hack the heck out of them, and came away with dozens of green tomatoes as a result. Aren’t they supposed to be done by now, anyway?

The idea at first was to make chili verde out of the green tomatoes, a la this recipe from Southern Living, but the first batch had no takers. There’s a certain color of food that my family seems to stay away from. So, a second batch was made to include other colors, and this time, everybody partook in the meal. Good thing there was plenty of green tomatoes!

green tomatoes harvest

Green Tomato Chili

2 lbs. boneless pork loin, cut into 1 inch cubes (or you can use beef)
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 large green tomatoes (or about 2 cups of chopped tomatoes)
1 red pepper, roughly chopped
1 yellow pepper, roughly chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, finely diced
1 cup fresh shelling beans (or canned beans)
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. chili powder
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
3 cups chicken or beef broth
Salt & pepper
Chopped cilantro

1. Heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil in a Dutch oven, over medium-high heat. Brown meat, in batches. Remove and set aside.
2. Sauté onion and garlic in the same Dutch oven, adding more oil if necessary, until translucent.
3. Add the rest of the vegetables, and continue cooking until vegetables are cooked. If using canned beans, add them later when chili is at the simmer stage.
4. Add chili powder, cumin, and oregano. Stir and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
5. Return meat to the pot. Add tomato sauce and broth, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, and continue cooking, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until pork is tender, about 30-45 minutes. Add chopped cilantro prior to serving.

This is good served over rice, topped with Green Tomato Salsa and queso fresco (or feta). Or you can serve this in a taco bowl. To make your own taco bowls, brush corn tortillas with olive oil, heat for 1-2 minutes in a sauté pan to make them more pliable, then place them over upturned muffin pan. Bake in 350° F for 8-10 minutes until slightly brown and crisp.

green tomato salsa

Green Tomato Salsa

2 medium green tomatoes
1/2 small red onion
1/2 small yellow pepper
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded
Chopped cilantro
1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
Salt & pepper

1. Finely dice all vegetables.
2. Mix all the vegetables in a bowl with lime juice, salt & pepper, and cilantro.
3. Cover and chill until ready to use.

Here’s another green tomato recipe:
Chicken Green Tomato Jalfrezi