Crazy About Green Tomatoes

Crazy About Green Tomatoes
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Is your tomato patch overly prolific? Or are your tomatoes taking so long to ripen you just can't wait any longer? That's OK, eat them green!
Green tomatoes have long been a staple of the cuisine of the Southern Untied States -- they were even immortalized in Fannie Flagg's humorous book Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe and the movie it inspired. But with a little imagination, green tomatoes can be adapted to all kinds of recipes -- think spicy Indian chutneys or exotic Mexican salsas.

Here are a few of our favorite Green Tomato recipes to get your imagination running.

Traditional Fried Green Tomatoes

Here is a good basic version of the classic Southern side dish. Of course you can get creative by adding different seasonings to the coating mixture.

4 large or 6 medium green tomatoes, thickly sliced

1 Cup flour

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons black pepper

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

oil for frying

Serves 6-8

Soak tomatoes in a mixture of about 2 quarts water and 2 tablespoons salt for about 1/2 hour.

In a large plastic food bag, mix flour, salt, pepper and cayenne. Drain tomatoes and drop a few slices at a time into the bag and shake to coat completely. Heat oil in a large skillet and fry coated tomato slices until browned on each side, about 2 minute per side. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.

Green Tomato Pie

I originally found the recipe for Green Tomato Pie in an old cookbook my grandmother had. I made a few changed along the way and here is the version I now make. It makes a great brunch addition or a light lunch entrée. Some people eve like it for dessert.

6 medium green tomatoes (about 1 3/4 lbs.)

1 Cup sugar

3 tablespoons flour

1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons butter

Serves 6-8

Pastry for a 2 crust pie (follow link for recipe) additional sugar for topping

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Blanch tomatoes in boiling water for 20-30 seconds. Remove from water, core and peel. Cut prepared tomatoes into 1/4 inch slices.

In a large saucepan, combine sliced tomatoes with 1/4 C water. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove tomatoes from liquid with a slotted spoon, reserving boiling liquid. Combine flour, 1 C sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and lemon zest. Add flour mixture to liquid. Cook, stirring constantly just until boiling. Remove from heat and stir in butter until melted. Gently stir in prepared green tomato slices. Cool slightly 10-15 minutes, and spoon into the unbaked piecrust. Top with top pastry crust, crimp and seal edges. Cut venting slits in tops crust and sprinkle lightly with sugar. Bake for about 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

Chilled Curried Green Tomato Soup

HereÂ’s an unusual soup to serve chilled at your next summer picnic. The recipe was given to me by my friend Victoria in Atlanta.

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 minced garlic cloves

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 teaspoons curry powder

1 large potato, peeled and cubed

4 large green tomatoes, peeled and cubed (about 2lbs.)

2 cups chicken stock

3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 cup whipping cream

salt and pepper to taste

additional fresh mint for garnish

Heat oil over medium-low heat in a large saucepan. Add garlic, onion and curry powder. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion is soft but not browned, about five minutes. Add tomatoes, potato, stock, cilantro, mint, and sugar. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 35 minutes.

Puree soup in batches in a blender or food processor. Return to saucepan and stir in cream. Let cool and season to taste with salt, pepper and additional sugar if desired. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Taste and adjust seasonings before serving. Garnish with mint and/or cilantro leaves if desired. Serve cold.

Green Tomatoes with Goat Cheese

HereÂ’s an elegant side dish that puts all those extra green tomatoes you have to use. Greek style feta or French style chevres (both goat cheeses) work equally well here.

4 medium green tomatoes

a tablespoon balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano leaves

1 cup crumbled goat cheese (feta or chevre)

4 teaspoons olive oil

salt and coarsely ground fresh ground black pepper

Serves 4

Cut tomatoes into 1/2 inch thick slices. Coat a shallow baking dish with oil. Place tomato slices, in a single, overlapping layer, in the bottom of the baking dish. Sprinkle tomatoes with vinegar and scatter minced oregano over tomatoes. Top with crumbled goat cheese and drizzle with olive oil. Broil 5-8 inches below a preheated broiler and broil until tomatoes are hot and cheese is just starting to brown, about 7-8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve.


Click here for tomato tips and recipes

 

About The Author

Cheri Sicard is the author of "The Great American Handbook: What You Can Do For Your Country Today and Every Day," and the editor of FabulousFoods.com, a favorite net destination for recipes, cooking tutorials, health and fitness information, holiday and entertaining ideas, celebrity chef interviews, cookbook reviews and more. Sign up for their free cooking and recipe newsletters!
 
 

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