This has been a rough year for tomatoes - between the heat and non-stop rain they are not the happiest of plants this year - but they keep on setting fruit to share. As it always goes, there are green tomatoes to be had in abundance; some fall before they ripen (those are for us), some plants have to move to make room for the next rotation on the schedule (those are headed for CSA this week).
Lucky us that they're perfect for frying and for preserving.
Green Tomato Chutney
deeply sweet, tangy and a little spicy - this is an especially tasty companion to sharp cheese.
makes 2-3 small (quarter-pint) jars.
2 1/2 cups green tomatoes, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced or grated
1/2 inch fresh ginger root, minced or grated
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 tablespoon whole mustard seed
pinch crushed red pepper
Throw it all together in a dutch oven and cook over medium heat until tomatoes begin to break down. Reduce heat to low and cook 2 hours, stirring frequently until browned and thickened. You can do this step in the oven - uncovered at 300 degrees for about 4 hours, stirring occasionally.
Divide into jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.
Cap and place in refrigerator for at least two days before eating and use within 1 month or process in water bath. Bring water bath to bare simmer and place jars in for 10 minutes. Remove from bath to cool overnight - if seal is sound, store at room temperature up to 9 months. Refrigerate overnight before eating.
Fried Green Tomatoes
delicious made with either semolina or fine cornmeal
Enjoy with crisp bacon or a tangy dipping sauce
2 green tomatoes - unripe
2 eggs, whisked
1/2 cup fine cornmeal or semolina flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
hefty pinch of cayenne pepper
Slice tomatoes 1/2-inch thick crosswise, sprinkle both sides with salt and spread out on a paper-towel lined plate for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, cover the bottom of a heavy skillet with 1/2 inch of oil, then place it over medium-high heat.
Blot with paper towels to remove excess moisture and salt. Coat the tomato slices in the egg, then dredge them in the cornmeal mixture.
Fry as many tomatoes as fit comfortably in the pan until nicely browned, about 2-4 minutes a side.
Drain briefly on a wire rack set on a paper-lined baking sheet and eat quickly!