Recipes to make use of underripe fruit

Knowing when to harvest is easy with some plants. Tomatoes aren’t usually a problem, and green tomatoes are usually more of a fall gardening issue, but we had a couple tomatoes that were knocked off a plant before they ripened. Someone recommended pickling!

Working off this recipe, I scaled it down a lot, as these two tomatoes were only about 3 ounces total. They fit in a 8 ounce jar perfectly.

Green Tomato Pickles

3 oz tomatoes
1 small garlic clove
¼ cup white vinegar
¼ cup water
½ tsp salt
½ tsp sugar
¼ tsp black peppercorns
pinch red pepper flakes
½ tsp bourbon

  1. Slice the tomatoes, either into ¼-inch thick slices, or halve them and cut into 8-10 wedges. Pack the tomatoes tightly in each jar, and place a few slices of garlic and a few fronds of dill in each jar.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine vinegar, water, salt, sugar, peppercorns, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and add bourbon.
  3. Pour brine over pickles, filling jar to within ¼-inch of the top. Make sure all of the tomatoes are fully submerged. If they start to float, wedge a few more tomato pieces in there to keep them firmly packed.
  4. Screw on jar lid and refrigerate for at least 3 days to allow pickles to fully pickle, and after that pickles will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.


On the other hand, it was harder to tell if our first watermelon was ripe or not. Cutting it open revealed white flesh, with just a blush of red beginning to form. Unripened watermelon tastes strangely similar, it’s just that none of the sugar has developed, so it isn’t sweet at all. I took to the internet again and found several good ideas.

I went with a White Watermelon Spritzer:

  1. Puree the watermelon flesh and strain out the seeds.
  2. Muddle some mint leaves in a glass with about a teaspoon of powdered sugar, and add some crushed ice.
  3. Pour in the watermelon puree, optionally add a shot your alcohol of choice (I went with a jasmine liqueur I’ve been experimenting with), and top it off with seltzer. It’s a light, refreshing drink and not too sweet!

White watermelon drink

 

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