Saturday, October 24, 2009

Anything but Fried Green Tomatoes

So, last week, we had a little Severe Weather Alert popping up on the computer (I love the Forcastfox plug-in- since I never watch the weather on TV it tells me everything I need to know.) telling us there was a possibility of frost during the night. I panicked a little and quickly Googled what I should do about my poor tomatoes- my tomato plants were loaded with green fruit that had yet to ripen!

Some sources suggested elaborate heating and/or insulating methods to try to buy the tomatoes some time. But plenty of other people had recipes for what to do with all those green tomatoes. Many of the recipes were for fried green tomatoes- something I've never had, but that I'm not especially interested in. Some of the more interesting ideas were:

What I ended up making was a couple loaves of green tomato bread, using this recipe. All the recipes I saw had a lot more sugar than I am accustomed to using in baked goods- 2 whole cups of white sugar!?! (The recipe I used called for a cup of Splenda in place of one cup of sugar-- but don't even get me started on Splenda.) But it definitely tasted really, really good, and my husband and kids were asking where it went when it was all gone, after like, a day. (To be fair, I only let them eat one loaf- the other one is in the freezer for later.) But if I make it again, I will definitely be scaling back on the sugar content.

I also made a rice and chickpeas dish with the Roma tomatoes that ended up being red, and my cherry tomatoes that were still green. My husband really loved it and I did too.

Chickpea and Green Tomato Rice

  • In a large pot, saute an onion and a little garlic in 1 tbsp olive oil until clear.
  • Add about 4-5 Roma tomatoes (or equivalent amount of other tomatoes) sliced into quarters.
  • Pour in 2 cups chicken broth and a can of chickpeas (drain liquid.)
  • Add 1 cup green cherry tomatoes, cut in half, and a cup of corn kernels (frozen or canned).
  • Heat mixture until boiling, then add a package of rice pilaf or 1 cup other form of rice.
  • Simmer until rice is tender. Add pepper, oregano, basil to taste and serve.

The point is, not to be afraid of those unripe tomatoes in the garden. As long as they don't freeze while they're outside, all they need is some cooking to become part of a tasty meal.

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