What to do with all of your green tomatoes? Here is a perfect method of preservation – freezing!

When we start planning our gardens, we don’t really think about how to utilize nature’s little surprises. By surprises, I mean literally HUNDREDS of green tomatoes at the end of a growing season. Knowing that disposing of them was not an option (as that would equate to wasting a gift), we threw ourselves into learning what we could do with them.

The first thing I did was can about a bushel of them into green tomato jam (using the recipe from Beginner’s Guide to Canning), which yielded several dozen jelly jars of delicious preserves. Then we gave away several bags to friends and neighbors that like to fry them. Then we ate fried green tomatoes ourselves until we were stuffed, and that took care of the “great-green-tomato-crisis”…until we had to start pulling plants at the end of the season, which resulted in yet another glut of green tomatoes!

Again, we were not going to let them go to waste. We gave away as many as we could and STILL had dozens left. So rather than despairing, or getting frustrated, or throwing in the tomato-towel so to speak, I went back to Dr. Google and discovered I could slice, batter, and freeze them for future fried green tomatoes.

So I whipped out the ol’ mandolin and got started. While Maebells’ Simple Easy Recipes includes two flash-freeze steps. One to harden the flour and seasonings onto the green tomato, the other to adhere the beaten egg and breadcrumb-mixture before storing in a ziplock bag. Now, not only do I have the satisfaction of knowing we wasted none of our surprise bounty, we have a whole winter of already prepared tomato slices that simply have to be taken from the freezer and fried up!

Overall, the process is truly quite simple and will yield a plethora of delicious side dishes or quick meals. Of course, I made a few tweaks along the way, like adding and extra dash of salt and pepper to each tomato before freezing, and I have even considered doing a batch by adding 1/3 cup of Parmesan cheese on the first layer. The possibilities are the same even if you have a family recipe, because freezing is a perfect option. Just follow the instructions below.

Ingredients (derived from Maebell’s site)

First Layer

1/3 cup all-purpose flour or Bisquick
1/3 cup cornmeal
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Egg Wash

2 eggs, beaten

Second Layer

1 cup breadcrumbs
1/3 cup all-purpose flour or Bisquick
1/3 cup cornmeal

Freezing Fried Green Tomato Prep Instructions

  1. Slice your tomatoes to 1/4″ of thickness or 1/2″ if you really enjoy a meaty ‘mater on your plate. I used my mandolin to keep the thickness consistent. Discard the end pieces.
  2. Dredge your tomato slices through the First Layer and place on cookie sheet. When sheet is full of tomatoes, place in the freezer for 15-20 minutes, or until chilled through.
  3. Prepare two shallow bowls, one with the Egg Wash and the other with the Second Layer. Remove cookie sheet from freezer.
  4. Dip each tomato in the egg wash and then dredge through the breadcrumb mix, then return to the cookie sheet.
  5. After each tomato has finished its second layer, place the cookie sheet back in the freezer for an additional 20 minutes.
  6. Using a Freezer storage bag, place as many frozen tomato slices per bag based on how many are in your family and how many you will be frying up per meal. Do not exceed more than 6 tomatoes per quart bag to ensure a good freezer. If storing more than 6 tomato slices, use a gallon size bag.

When you’re ready to to fry up these battered, green beauties, simply heat up a cast iron skillet with a couple tablespoons of your favorite cooking oil, and fry up the frozen tomato slices. No need to thaw first. frozen green tomato slices

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