Friday Night Photos: 2009 Garden Update #7 (Documenting My Love for Green Zebra Tomatoes)
posted by Kalyn Denny on September 5, 2009
This hasn’t been the greatest gardening year at Chez Kalyn. The summer started out with weeks of rain, I was seriously distracted by house renovations, and then I got mixed up on my renovated sprinkling system and the tomatoes went for weeks with no water. Most of my plants are just surviving, but the one very bright spot in this year’s gardening adventure is the discovery of Green Zebra tomatoes. Every year I try a few new tomato varieties, so when a fellow gardener suggested that I might like Green Zebras, I got one plant (even though I had been unenthused about Striped Zebra tomatoes last year, so don’t get confused and buy those instead.) Now it’s official, Green Zebras are my favorite tomato of all, bumping Brandywines out of the top spot!
Wikipedia claims the Green Zebra is not an heirloom tomato, but then Aunt Martha’s Garden is selling Heirloom Green Zebra seeds, and I found other places also claiming Green Zebras were heirlooms. I’m inclined to think Wikipedia is right though, because heirlooms tend to be less unformly shaped. (Links to seed purveyors are merely to illustrate the plant and are not an endorsement of that site.)
This is my attempt at showing the color changes this tomato goes through as it ripens. The small front tomato (far left) is not ripe, and the green and yellow striped tomato at the end (far right) is almost too ripe. Many times when I go out to pick these, I judge ripeness by the feel, but usually the ripe ones are starting to show at least a bit of yellow color to the skin.
A commenter on the last garden update asked if I’d show what these look like when they’re cut open, so here they are in all their lime-green deliciousness. This is a small tomato, about the size of a pool ball.
This is one of my favorite ways to eat then, simply cut into chunks, drizzled with some very good olive oil and seasoned with sea salt, then sprinkled with goat cheese. I shared this, but I could have easily eaten it all myself as a lunch.
And if you happen to be making a salad to take to dinner with friends, the Green Zebras can get along well with other tomato varieties too. (I dressed these tomatoes with basil vinaigrette and served them with lots more fresh basil cut in chiffonade strips sprinkled on top.)
If you have a garden, how’s your tomato crop doing this year? And if you have a favorite tomato, I’d love to hear what it is in the comments.