Here's What To Do With End-Of-Season Green Cherry Tomatoes

The sun has a habit of hibernating before all of the tomatoes have had a chance to ripen on the vine, leaving behind a small crop of green (and oftentimes underdeveloped) tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes seem to be particularly prone to this, especially if they are planted too late in the year. So it's not all too uncommon to end up with a basket of green cherry tomatoes at the end of the season, along with the inevitable question: What to do with them? Don't despair! You have plenty of fun options.

Depending on how underripe they are, you might still be able to ripen them inside. To do so, you'll want to keep them warm in a box lined with newspaper. And, contrary to popular belief, avoid direct sunlight. You can check their potential to ripen by cutting into a couple and seeing whether the seeds slide away or are cut through. Seeds that slide signal the potential for further ripening.

If the cherry tomatoes can't be ripened, consider cooking with them the same way you would full-size green tomatoes. You could also pickle them or make a relish. Even better, make a tangy green tomato ketchup. In fact, there are a variety of sauces that will make great use of those little green jewels.

Cherry tomato sauces for days

Green tomatoes can have a similar bitterness to them as tomatillos, which makes them great for putting a spin on salsa verde. Whip up a batch of the slightly spicy Mexican-inspired sauce with or without a few tomatillos thrown into the batch. Use it on tacos, enchiladas, chunks of pork, or your morning eggs.

Continuing the theme, those cherry tomatoes can also make an excellent roasted salsa. Tossing them on the grill for a few minutes will not only soften them up but will also bring out their juices — making them perfect for a tangy condiment with plenty of heat. And the smokiness will help cover some of the excessive tanginess that unripe tomatoes are prone to.

Relishes, ketchup, and chutneys are another fantastic way to keep those green cherry tomatoes from going to waste. Use them on burgers, hot dogs, roasted potatoes and meats, and more. Or get super creative and make a jam! The balance of sweet and tart flavors that come through in the jam make it super useful as well. Not only will it be absolutely mouthwatering on your toast or biscuits, but it's an excellent addition to charcuterie boards and grilled cheese sandwiches as well.

More options for unripe cherry tomatoes

If you're not quite feeling any of the sauces or spicy salsas, you might still be wondering what to do with green cherry tomatoes. Sadly, they won't go well on salad, and actually, any raw presentation is pretty much out the window. One surprising way to conquer the bitterness of those unripe cherry tomatoes is to make a pie. By adding plenty of sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice, you'll be able to truly transform the immature produce into something delectable.

On the other hand, the most obvious way to cook green cherry tomatoes is to make an old southern favorite. In this case, your fried green tomatoes will resemble okra medallions more than the classic recipe. But they'll be no less delicious. As you can see, there's no reason to toss any cherry tomatoes that didn't ripen on the vine in time. Even if they can't be ripened inside, there are still plenty of ways to make good use of them.