Green tomatoes left on the vine? Turn them into something special (recipe)
It’s not easy being green.
Yup, that frost really wasn’t early this year. But nobody offered that memo to the tomato plants. So what do you have? Bowls, spilling over with green orbs that never had a chance to show their rosy side.
So, sure, you could wait until those green tomatoes are rotting—or you could figure out something wonderful to create with them.
Howie Velie, associate dean of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., has had his hands full of green tomatoes, and has no shortage of ideas about their many uses.
“Half tomatillos and half green tomatoes make a great salsa verde,” Velie says.
He notes that he once owned a restaurant in the South, and came up with his own version of fried green tomatoes. Instead of slicing them, he cut them into 1-inch cubes, dipped those cubes in an egg wash and then coated them in Panko (breadcrumbs) before frying the little squares of goodness. (Find grocery coupons here.)
Another great use for them, he notes, is to make a sauce. Simply toss the chopped tomatoes in a food processor and add a little vinegar and sugar. He likes to toss in a few jalapenos to add a kick. Then cook the mixture down.
“It will get a jelly quality when you put it in the fridge because of the pectin in the fruit,” he says.
Sliced green tomatoes also work well in about anything that calls for eggplant, he says.
“Replace the eggplant with green tomatoes in any recipe for eggplant Parmesan,” he says.
Velie’s final suggestion is by far the simplest: “People don’t think of this often, but if you slice green tomatoes, brush them with a little olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper on them, they’re perfect for the grill.”
As we know that the classics are sometimes best, here’s a recipe for good, old-fashioned fried green tomatoes from allrecipes.com.
FRIED GREEN TOMATOES
- 4 large green tomatoes
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup milk
- 1 cup flour
- ½ cup cornmeal
- ½ cup breadcrumbs
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 quart vegetable oil for frying
- Cut tomatoes into ½ inch slices.
- Combine milk and eggs, whisk.
- Scoop flour onto one plate. Mix cornmeal, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper and scoop onto another plate.
- Dip tomatoes into flour, then egg wash. Dredge them in breadcrumbs to coat.
- In large skillet, pour ½ inch of oil in pan. Fry tomatoes in batches. Fry them until they’re golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels.