Saturday, August 29, 2009

Garden on the Deck: Green Zebras

Green Striped Zebra Tomatoes, taken 7/27/09.

You may be familiar with heirloom tomatoes, and I had heard them before this summer, but only now do I realize the variety and subtle differences in taste among heirlooms. These are my most anticipated Green Striped Zebra tomatoes (most anticipated, by me, that is). But for green tomatoes, what are the rules of ripening and picking? If green tomatoes never turn red, how do you know? Ours shifted from green and white, to green and yellow, so I took this as a sign that they were ready to go. One fell off the vine, as well. I took that to be a sign that we were leaving them up too long.

As for taste, the Green Striped Zebras have more citricy overtones and tasted almost like a tomato crossed with a lemon or lime. I peeled our last batch very easily (no need for blanching) (below) for a no-cook tomato sauce (from Real Simple). I used German Red Strawberries, (orange) sungellas, and Green Striped Zebras--all from the garden. There may be a few red tomatoes in there, from the CSA, as well. In the end, I have to say that I didn't love the sauce and it had an un-appetizing pink color, but on hot days, it's one less burner to light.

Taken 8/24/09.