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Wednesday Food: (Beer) Fried Green Tomatoes

End of August is the perfect time for vine-ripened tomatoes.  My tomato plants are healthy and plentiful, but few fruits have ripened.  This is maddening.  I had planned to share with you a recipe for tomato consomme, a sophisticated and laborious dish that renders the essence of tomato flavor, unripened tomatoes won’t do.

I’d never had fried green tomatoes but it seemed a promising way to take advantage of some of the tens of pounds of verdant orbs taunting me.  So the first and only version I’ve had of this dish was the vegan beer-battered fried green tomatoes from One Green Planet.  In lieu of egg wash as adhesive for the flour, they recommend dark beer.  Hefeweizen or a Belgian Wit would do nicely, anything that favors bright citrus or sweetness over hops. Because the beer is used predominately for moisture and not flavor you could likewise employ a basic lager and save your shmancy summer imports for sipping.

They taste close to what I anticipated– mild but tart, maybe not as assertive as I expected.  Between the flesh of the tomato and crispy cornmeal a full range of textures are offered.  For dipping, a yogurt basil sauce brings out the acidity and freshness of the tomato.  With a platter of similar garden goods– stuffed squash blossoms for instance– they’d round out the company.  It’s no deep-fried butter but, well, thank god for that.

I also pickled green tomatoes but I’m waiting a little longer to try them and suspect the recipe will need tweaking.  What have you been eating to close out the summer?  Is it business as usual or are you enjoying veg at the top of its game?

My only stuffed squash blossom contender…

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August 25, 2011 - Posted by | Wednesday Food

5 Comments

  1. Two questions about this post that relate to my bountiful garden:

    1. Are the green tomatoes in fried green tomatoes unripe tomatoes or a green variety of tomato?
    2. How are you supposed to pick squash blossoms? How much squash should be attached?

    Comment by Josh K-sky | August 25, 2011

  2. 1. They are unripe tomatoes.

    Comment by ben | August 25, 2011

  3. 1. I’m glad Ben took the lead on that one because while I was working under the assumption that they are unripened further research has left me without answer. Every recipe I find just says ‘firm green’ but doesn’t indicate otherwise.

    2. Clip them a few inches from the neck of the blossom before any squash has developed, clean and stuff the blossom with filling (often a goat cheese or ricotta mixture), batter or flour them, and fry! See above image.

    Or much sexier photos here http://www.bellalimento.com/2010/07/02/fiori-di-zucca-ripieni-squash-blossoms-stuffed-with-ricotta-and-herbs/

    Comment by ebolden | August 25, 2011

  4. Curses! My previous comment didn’t post. The answer to 1. is I have no idea, and further research has only left me with recipes that indicate ‘firm green tomato’ but don’t say anything about ripeness. I’ll refer to Ben.

    2. Snip the blossom a few inches from the neck before any squash has developed, clean and gently remove stamen, fill with cheese mixture (usually goat or ricotta), batter and fry!

    Sexier photos… http://www.bellalimento.com/2010/07/02/fiori-di-zucca-ripieni-squash-blossoms-stuffed-with-ricotta-and-herbs/

    Comment by ebolden | August 25, 2011

  5. Thanks! We seem to have too few blossoms at any one time to harvest a decent serving, followed by far too many summer squash to eat.

    Comment by Josh K-sky | August 25, 2011


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