Monday, October 25, 2010

Eat Green...Tomatoes, That Is
If you planted a garden this year, then, like me, you’re probably left with an overabundance of green tomatoes now that the weather has cooled. In the past, the only benefit I saw to these late bloomers was their potential to become compost surprise. (You know, those random veggies tossed in your compost bin that sprout mysteriously in the spring.) The idea of actually consuming under-ripe tomatoes left me feeling a bit, well... green.

This fall I’ve had a change of heart. For one, I’ve redoubled my efforts to eat locally. With over 200 green tomatoes clinging to my withering vines, it seemed a shame to throw away such a bountiful and local source of produce. (As my son once said, “The only way it could be more local is if we grew it inside our house!”) For another, I’ve learned that the Whistlestop Café did not corner the market on green tomatoes recipes. The other day my mother-in-law brought over a delicious Halloween cake called “Boogers and Slugs.” Raisins served as the slugs, and the slimy boogers? You guessed it: green tomatoes. Nose pickings your mom actually wants you to eat? My kids gobbled them up.

Here are some other dishes that cleverly disguise green tomatoes in tasty ways:

Paula Deen's Green Tomato Pie:

Mario Batali's Green Tomato Spaghetti:

Not only do green tomatoes taste good in recipes, they're also good for you. Although they don't have the lycopene benefits of their red-blooded relatives, green tomatoes are high in Vitamins A and C and potassium. So go ahead, gather up those lonely tomatoes left on your vines. While you're at it, pick up a copy of Fannie Flag's Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Cafe and enjoy a "green" read along with your green feast.

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