It was a sorry tomato season. Never really hot enough. Too rainy. For the first time in a long time, I didn’t start my own seedlings, but bought them at the farmer’s market. Lots of Brandywines, instead of what I’d have started myself: Paul Robesons, Pineapples, Orange Pastes and Matt’s Wild Cherries. I should know better. Brandywines are superb in a hot, dry year. In a wet cool one, the plants are instantly disease-ridden and the tomatoes watery tasting.
Some rainy years, you get a zillion green tomatoes. Not this one. Very little fruit production. But there are so few tomatoes in general in my garden that the green ones dropping off their diseased vines deserve some respect. I have never mastered the fried green tomato. This is what I do instead: green tomato relish. It’s a food processor job–finely chopped is best. I process just a few jars, maybe three or four. (The insane quantities recommended in most canning recipes are, in my opinion, a recipe for scaldings and sweaty misery.)
Really, really delicious. You can serve the relish with bread and cheese. You can serve it with ham. You can serve it with grilled chicken. But its highest calling is a good grilled hotdog. Roasted potatoes, nice salad, crickets chirping, summer winding down.