How best to ripen green tomatoes?

Ripening the last of the tomatoes in autumn is one of those desperate situations where everyone is doing their best to make a miracle happen. I’m trying two different methods this year.

The first is laying the whole plant under a cold frame, pot and all. I’ve put a ground sheet down, with straw on top to make a cosy bed for the lolling beef tomatoes. I’m hoping this ‘luxury hotel’ environment will trick them into thinking they’ve been transported to somewhere expensive on the Amalfi Coast.

There’s some reluctant ripening going on, but not as good as…

9/14/15Italian beef tomatoes reclining in splendour 9/14/15

…The second theory. This is to pick them, with a bit of  stalk, and keep them somewhere darkish and coolish. This is the opposite of what I’d normally do (put them in the sunniest, warmest place in the house) but as every room in my tiny cottage can offer this environment, it’s worth a try.

And it does seem to be working… There’s plenty of ripe, tasty tomatoes every time I need them. And the skins aren’t leathery or tough.

9/14/15A dark pantry shelf seems the best spot for ripening the tomatoes9/14/15

I’d love to know what you’re doing with your green or semi-ripe tomatoes… Please feel free to add your comment below. Green tomato recipe ideas welcome too!

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