Cooking with Green Tomatoes
Are the tomatoes in your garden languishing? With the cooler Fall temps they have decided to stop ripening. But it’s too sad to send them to compostville. Instead, pick them in their green, unripe state and make a few dishes geared toward their unrealized tomato glory. Green tomatoes are delicious in their own right.
Practically anything tastes good fried and green tomatoes are no exception. But there are other tasty ways to say good-bye to summer. Here are a few green tomato recipes to use up the last of your summer tomato crop.
Fried Green Tomatoes
From New York Times
1 pound firm green tomatoes
1/2 cup cornmeal
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Extra virgin olive oil or canola oil for frying
- Slice the tomatoes about 1/2 inch thick. Season the cornmeal with salt and pepper and dredge the tomatoes in it. You can do this in a large bowl, a flatter baking dish or a brown paper bag — whatever is easiest for you. You won’t use all of the cornmeal.
- Heat a heavy skillet, either cast iron or nonstick, over medium-high heat, and add enough oil to coat the bottom by about 1/8 inch. Fry the tomatoes on each side until golden, about two to three minutes per side. Drain on paper towels, on a paper bag or on a rack. Keep warm in a low oven until all of the tomatoes are fried. Serve hot or warm. Yield: Serves four.
Spaghetti With Green Tomato-Bacon Sauce
6 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound green tomatoes, cored and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons minced peperoncini
1/2 pound cappelini pasta
2/3 cup freshly grated pecorino Romano cheese
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, plus more for garnish
Freshly ground black pepper
- In a 12-inch skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels. Drain and reserve 1 tablespoon bacon fat. Add the olive oil to the pan. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 60 seconds. Raise the heat to medium high. Add the tomatoes, salt and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes soften and start to turn golden brown, about 7 minutes. Add the wine and pepperoncini and cook until the some of the liquid evaporates and the tomatoes are a bit saucy.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta in salted boiling water according to the package directions until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water, then drain the pasta. Put the drained pasta back into the pot and add the cooked tomatoes, cheese, 1/2 cup parsley and cooked bacon. Toss until combined, adding reserved pasta water to moisten, if necessary. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper.
- Divide the pasta among warm plates, sprinkle with additional parsley and serve immediately. Serves 4.
Green Tomato and Apple Hazelnut Crisp
9 tablespoons all-purpose flour (divided)
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted and skinned (see note)
3 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
2 medium green tomatoes (about 1 pound), cored and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
3/4 cup natural cane sugar
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a food processor, blend 6 tablespoons of flour, the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Add the butter and pulse until blended. Add the nuts and process for 8 more pulses or until coarsely chopped. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate while preparing the filling.
- Place the apples and tomatoes in a large bowl. Stir in the lemon juice. In a small bowl, combine the lemon zest, remaining 3 tablespoons flour, and sugar. Stir into the fruit, mixing gently.
- Spray an 8-inch-square baking pan or 2-quart casserole with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer the apple filling to the pan (do not put the topping on yet). Bake until the filling is bubbly, about 35 minutes.
- Remove the topping from the refrigerator and sprinkle evenly over the fruit. Return the pan to the oven and bake until the topping is nicely browned, about 20 minutes. Cool on a baking rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Note: To toast hazelnuts, spread the shelled nuts in a shallow pan and roast in a 350-degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until the skins crack. Rub warm nuts with a rough kitchen towel or between your hands to remove as much skin as possible..