The moment you've been waiting for is finally here!
The moment I've been waiting for, at least--cooking! All this work putting the gardens to bed, canning tomatoes, drying herbs, and freezing veggies and pesto, and nary a recipe, nary a meal.
As the final chapter in putting our veggies to bed, we needed to use up those last few tomatoes--the green ones on the verge of going bad. I think a lot of people just give up on these guys, but after all that work growing them, I wanted to use ours, come hell or highwater, devil be damned, and any number of other sundry euphemisms. So the logical answer was Fried Green Tomatoes. We rarely deign to fry at home--not because frying isn't delicious, but because it makes the whole house smell and is better left to the infrequent bar meal--so I thought, why not bake these bastages? It turns out that VeganYumYum was actually using FatFreeVeganKitchen's recipe for Oven-fried Green Tomatoes to begin with!
Neither Amy nor I had ever actually had fried green tomatoes, though I did see the movie for the first time last year. I don't think I fully got the significance of the title until making them--taking something that isn't ripe yet, on one hand, yet also on the verge of spoiling, on the other--and turning it into something amazing. Transforming waste into a delicacy.
I made a few adjustments to Susan's recipe--essentially merging it with my Chik'n Almond Bake recipe. Additionally, our friend Ryan recently had the genius idea of dipping squash in soda water before battering--this works like a charm for getting batter to stick to slippery veggies.
The tomatoes wouldn't be enough alone, so we paired this with a pesto pasta--using pesto made this last weekend. F. Yes. Feel the power.
Baked Green Tomatoes
- 4 large green tomatoes, cut into slices
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- 1/4 cup quinoa flour
- 2 tbsp almond meal
- 1.5 tbsp nu yeast
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp salt, more to taste
- ~1/2 cup soda water
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine all of the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Slice up the maters. Dunk each tomato in soda water then dunk in the batter, coating thoroughly. Place on an oiled baking sheet. Douse lightly with olive oil and make 15 minutes to a side. You may need to bake an additional 5 minutes to a side, depending on your oven. You want each side to be brown and crispy.
Cook and eat!
I jest. But it is almost that easy. Make as much pasta as you want--hopefully you'll have made more than enough pesto. About 3:1 dry pasta to pesto is a reasonable rule of thumb. For the pesto, I want to avoid a strict recipe--you often don't control how much basil you have, so any exact recipe can only lead you astray.
- pine nuts
- OR walnuts
- OR both
- olive oil
In a food processor, grind the basil in enough olive oil to keep things moist. Add in nuts and garlic a little at a time--you can't really over-process this, so better not to overdo it. Pine nuts produce more oil than walnuts and have a stronger taste; keep this in mind as you mix. When the pesto is nice and creamy, add salt to taste.
If you made a lot, you can freeze it in ice cube trays. We used half fresh/half frozen in the pesto pasta and it worked like a champ.
When you're satisfied with your pesto, toss it with the noodles in a frying pan over medium heat. Add in a few fresh, ripe tomatoes for color and a touch of zang.
Now relax. You've done what needed doing. You, my friend, are a true champeen.
Hatches = Battened