While they don’t get much attention outside of agricultural circles, green tomatoes, are unripe tomatoes that are picked prematurely to ensure the ones that are left on the vine grow nice and big. That’s why they often show up at farmer’s markets in spring. For the uninitiated, green tomatoes may seem like an esoteric vegetable with limited uses, but they’re actually quite versatile.
Perhaps my favorite use is to turn them into a salad or a slaw. That’s because unlike their brethren that are left on the vine to ripen, these young tomatoes are crisp, tangy and juicy with just a hint of sweetness. They also have some great tomato flavor and the accompanying umami that makes ripe tomatoes so delicious.
Because the seeds have not fully developed, a green tomato is very fleshy and can be Julienned into sticks, or shaved into paper thin slices. For this salad, I’ve cut them into matchsticks and tossed them with mint and feta make for a delightfully refreshing spring salad, that’s loaded with flavor. It’s one of those addictive foods where it keeps getting better with each bite, and you can’t stop until it’s all gone.
When choosing green tomatoes for this salad, be sure to pick smaller ones that are still very hard. Once they’ve begun to soften, they can be used for other things such as fried green tomatoes, or a green tomato gratin, but they’re not so good for eating raw, as they lose their crispness.
Green Tomato Mint Salad
- 9.2 ounces green tomatoes
- 1.9 ounces feta cheese
- 1 handful fresh mint leaves
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Black pepper (to taste)
- Core the tomatoes and slice them 1/8-inch thick. Cut the slices into 1/8-inch sticks.
- If the feta was packed in brine, drain and pat dry with a paper towel. Use a fork to crumble the cheese.
- Add the tomatoes into a bowl with the feta, mint, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
- Toss to combine and adjust seasonings to taste. Serve immediately.
Marc Matsumoto is a culinary consultant and recipe repairman who shares his passion for good food through his website norecipes.com. For Marc, food is a life long journey of exploration, discovery and experimentation and he shares his escapades through his blog in the hopes that he inspires others to find their own culinary adventures. Marc’s been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, and has made multiple appearances on NPR and the Food Network.