Celebrate summer with green tomatoes

July 6, 2011 

  • Green Tomatoes Parmesan

    1 pound (3 to 4 medium-sized) green tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices

    1/2 teaspoon salt

    1/4 teaspoon pepper

    1/4 cup yellow or white cornmeal

    1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

    1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves

    1/4 cup vegetable oil

    Sprinkle tomato slices on one side with salt and pepper. Mix cornmeal, cheese and oregano in a shallow dish or pie plate. In a 9 to 10-inch skillet, preferably with a non-stick finish, heat oil over moderate heat.

    Coat tomato slices with cornmeal mixture, pressing it firmly onto each slice. Add a single layer of tomato slices to skillet and fry 1 to 3 minutes on each side, turning once, until tender and very lightly browned.

    Drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining tomatoes, adding a little more oil if needed.

    Serve hot or warm.

    Green Tomato Pickle

    Makes: 4 pints

    3 pounds green tomatoes, thinly sliced

    3 large onions, sliced

    1/4 cup salt

    1 1/2 cups cider vinegar

    1 1/2 cups dark corn syrup

    1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

    3 green peppers, sliced

    1 red pepper, diced

    2 cloves garlic, minced

    1 stick cinnamon

    1 1/2 teaspoons whole cloves

    1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard

    1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

    1/2 teaspoon salt

    1/2 teaspoon celery seed

    In a large bowl, sprinkle tomatoes and onion with the 1/4 cup salt. Let stand 2 hours; rinse and drain.

    In a large kettle, mix together the vinegar, syrup, sugar, peppers and garlic. Bring to boil over medium heat; add tomato mixture, cinnamon, cloves, mustard, ginger, salt and celery seed. Boil gently 10 minutes.

    Ladle into clean hot jars, leaving
    1/4-inch head space. Wipe top edge with damp cloth. Seal.

    Process in boiling water bath for
    20 minutes. Remove and place on towel or rack to cool.

    Green Tomato Pie

    3 large or 5 medium green tomatoes

    1 teaspoon salt

    1/2 cup sugar

    1/3 cup cornstarch

    11/4 teaspoons ground nutmeg or mace

    1/3 cup light corn syrup

    Grated rind of 1 lemon

    2 tablespoons lemon juice

    1 tablespoon butter

    Pastry for double crust pie

    Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

    Halve the tomatoes and cut into 1/4-inch wedges (4 cups). In medium bowl, sprinkle tomato wedges with salt; set aside.

    In small saucepan, mix together the sugar, cornstarch and nutmeg. Stir in corn syrup, lemon rind and juice. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils. Remove from heat.

    Drain tomatoes; arrange in pastry-lined pie plate. Pour syrup mixture over tomatoes. Dot with butter.

    Make several slits in top crust to permit escape of steam. Cover pie with top crust; seal and flute edge.

    Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until tomatoes are tender.

    Serve hot or cold and, if desired, with cheese.

This is tomato season, and those who love to pick their own can enjoy the outdoors and pick all they need. If you'd rather not pick them yourself, you can shop at the farmers market. The harvest is bountiful.

When I began my search for green tomatoes, I traveled to the St. Helena Island market only to find out that all the green tomatoes had been sold. That's when I learned of Osalami Lamoke's organic tomatoes. Her mail carrier helped me get in touch with her to order a bag of green tomatoes. When the delivery arrived, a few ripe tomatoes were thrown in.

And at Barefoot Farms on St. Helena, I was able to pick and purchase enough tomatoes to satisfy my needs for the special dish I had in mind. With farmers markets all around the county, this is the ideal time to search during the season finale for green tomatoes and whet your appetite.

Fried green tomatoes are just so good.

Port Royal resident Ervena Faulkner is a retired educator who has always had an interest in food and nutrition. Email her at features@beaufortgazette.com.

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