It’s that time of year when summer gardens are starting to wilt and blacken in the cold night, but here in the Willamette Valley some varieties of tomatoes have managed to hold on thanks to a handful of warm, sunny November days. My uncle’s backyard garden has several enormous, Sungold cherry tomato plants, and what started in the beginning of November as sweatshirt pocket-fulls of sweet tomatoes gathered for snacks has turned suddenly into a mad dash to save all of the beautiful, unripe tomatoes as the weather has suddenly taken a turn for the colder.
Of course, green tomatoes will pickle perfectly (especially cherry tomatoes), but with winter around the corner I preferred the thought of roasting the tomatoes to make some sort of savory condiment. After roasting to bring out the tomatoes’ sweetness, I added green olives, lemon, and fresh chopped parsley to balance the flavors in the relish and threw in a perfectly ripe avocado for richness.
So if you have unripe tomatoes hanging around in your garden, run out and grab them before they disappear! Serve this relish with chips as you would a salsa or as a side with any type of fish. We ate it last night atop my Salmon Cakes with a side of lentils and roasted broccoli. Delicious!
Roasted Green Tomato Relish with Olives & Avocado
*makes about 2 cups*
3 C. cherry tomatoes, halved
2 small bunches or 1 large bunch scallions, white and light green parts only, cut into ½” slices
2 Tbsp. olive oil
½ C. green olives (whatever variety you like), roughly chopped
juice of half a lemon
1 medium avocado, diced
a handful of freshly chopped Italian Parsley
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the halved tomatoes and scallions in a baking dish, drizzle them with the oil and sprinkle generously with salt. Toss to combine and bake for 20 minutes or until the tomatoes are beginning to brown just slightly in places. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for 30 minutes.
Once cooled to room temperature, transfer the roasted tomatoes and onion to a medium bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Toss together gently and season with additional salt to suit your tastes.