Why are your tomatoes still green?

When life gives you green tomatoes… fry them.

I’m getting a hunch that most of my beefsteak and heirloom tomatoes will not ripen. You may be feeling this too. We had a slow start to the summer, temp. wise. I remember 4th of July weekend was the first time it hit above 80 degrees. Large tomatoes need time, about 100 days to ripen. It’s likely with the slow start this summer, larger breeds may not make it to cherished red.

Tomatoes ripen due to a combination of factors. If the below conditions are not met, tomatoes will stay green:

  • Warmer temperatures and humidity speed up the ripening process. If your tomatoes are not exposed to high temperatures, they will not mature.
  • Tomatoes need sunlight to ripen properly. Sunlight triggers the production of pigment (lycopene), which gives tomatoes their fabulous red color.
  • Tomatoes have a natural ripening process that simply takes time. The breed of tomato determines this schedule. The larger the tomato, the longer the ripening will take.

If you want to ripen tomatoes faster, you can place them in a paper bag with a banana or apple. These fruits release ethylene gas, which will accelerate ripening. But be aware, vine ripe tomatoes have a better flavor and texture, so I suggest…. When life gives you green tomatoes, fry them! The combination of a sharp, tart tomato with a fried crunchy cornmeal coating is delicious. Add a creamy creole dipping sauce and you arrive at the perfect end-of-summer comfort food.

French Remoulade
Prepare before frying the tomatoes.


1 1/4 cups mayonnaise
1/4 cup mustard (Creole mustard if possible)
1 tbsp sweet paprika
1-2 teaspoons Cajun or Creole seasoning
2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon pickle juice
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 large clove garlic, minced and smashed

Directions: Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Let it sit for at least an hour so the flavors fuse.

Fried Green Tomatoes

3 medium, firm green tomatoes
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp Cajun seasoning
1/2  buttermilk
1 egg
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Directions: Cut tomatoes into 1/2 inch slices. Sprinkle it with salt. Let the tomato slices stand for 5 minutes. Mix the flour and Cajun seasoning, buttermilk and egg, and breadcrumbs and cornmeal – each in separate bowls.  Dip the green tomatoes in the flour-seasoning mixture, then the buttermilk-egg mixture, then the cornmeal-breadcrumb mix. Heat the oil in a skillet on medium. Fry the green tomatoes for 3-5 minutes on each side or until brown. Set on paper towels to drain. Serve immediately, freshly fried is always best.

tagged in garden, gardening, tomatoes