Sad but inevitable, about this time every year tomato fatigue sets in.
For weeks now, with markets and gardens glutted, I’ve cooked and eaten ripe, juicy tomatoes in countless delicious ways. So much so that when I look at the sea of red baskets at our farmers market or the one that happens to be sitting on my counter, brimming with those picked from my own garden, I feel……….worn out.
And maybe a wee bit guilty. I mean, in a few short weeks, the Tomato Time will be over.
For now, with plants still producing, (although less prolific, as daylight shrinks, temperatures cool) it’s time to switch to the Green.
There’s something special about fried green tomatoes that I did not come to appreciate until recent years. When fried, what appears to be firm and without flavor, softens and releases a tangy citrus essence. A surprise with bite! The salty crackle of cornmeal batter is a splendid complement.
Of course, they are tasty on their own, but if you don’t want to eat just fried food—–
Here’s a late summer salad that uses the fried green wonder as its centerpiece. It layers pungent heat from mature arugula and horseradish with the sweetness of green tomatoes and shrimp.
I had gotten peppery hot rocket leaves from Drury Farms to form the salad base. Horseradish cream sauce tops the stack of fried ‘maters, performing double duty as a foil for the lemon-poached shrimp. All the elements work together brightly to create a fresh, satisfying meal.
Sliced, these green tomatoes look very pretty.
A little flour lightens the cornmeal coating. A simple soak in buttermilk is all the slices need.
Fried Green Tomatoes
1 cup Cornmeal
Â¼ cup All Purpose Flour
1 cup Buttermilk
Firm, green tomatoes, sliced 1/4 â€œ thick
Vegetable oil (like canola oil) for frying
Mix cornmeal well with flour and seasonings.
Dip tomato slices into buttermilk, then dredge in cornmeal mixture.
Heat skillet and add vegetable oil. Test for and fry tomato slices about 2-4 minutes per sideâ€”until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
Horseradish Cream Sauce
1 cup Sour cream
Â½ cup Good Mayo (Hellmannâ€™s or Dukeâ€™s)
2 heaping Tablespoons Horseradish
1 teaspoon fresh Lemon juice
Â½ teaspoon Louisiana Hot Sauce
Â½ teaspoon Salt
Whisk all the ingredients together until well blended. Taste for horseradish and add more if necessary. Keeps refrigerated for at least 2 weeks.
Poached Gulf Shrimp
Â½ lb. shrimp (this will serve 2-3, I used a 21-26ct.shrimp)
To 2 quarts of water add:
A few slices of Onion
1-2 sliced Garlic cloves
1 Bay Leaf
a few slices Lemon
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
Â½ teaspoon Celery Seed,
Â½ teaspoon Black Pepper
Â¼ teaspoon Red Pepper flakes
Bring poaching liquid to a rolling boil, plunge in shrimp. Cook for 3-4 minutes and remove from heat. Peel, devein, and chill shrimp.
On a salad plate, place bed of mixed greens or arugula.
Stack fried green tomato slices. Dollop with Horseradish Cream.
Place shrimp on top of the horseradish sauce.
Garnish with lemon slices, and serve.