One of the first things you have to figure out when you start a home garden is how much to plant and what it is going to produce. The last thing you want is to go to all of the work, and then be overwhelmed with waste. There are always things you can do with abundance. You can share with friends and family (I’m sure you’ve heard of national “sneak some zucchini on your neighbors porch night”), or donate to the local food bank. Just because the season approaches its end does not mean that you can’t utilize the stage of growth that remains.
A perfect example of this is green tomatoes. Our family loves them and has many wonderful uses, both old and new. In fact, this year our plants ripened so evenly that we had very few green tomatoes to utilize. We were able to coax a friend from work to bring us a big bag of her leftovers , yum! My mother in law has an amazing recipe for green tomato relish and we use it in everything from tuna and egg salads to brats. This year, as I wrote here, we have been doing some old-fashioned crock fermenting. We set up a batch of pickled green tomatoes yesterday and I can’t wait to see how they turn out! This morning, as I write this, the smell of fried green tomatoes and simmering sausage gravy is wafting through the air. What a treat! If you haven’t tried them, please do!
Fried Green Tomatoes
Slice green tomatoes (any volume you want) into 1/4″ thick slices
Flour in a small bowl seasoned with salt and pepper
Egg Wash in a small bowl
Bread crumbs/Corn Meal mixed in a small bowl (I love to use Panko bread crumbs for this)
Once you’ve sliced the tomatoes, spread them out and sprinkle with salt. Wait a few minutes then flip them over on an absorbent surface (paper towels work great). This draws out some of the extra water and makes for a more evenly cooked and crispier coating. Then simply cover the tomato in the flour and shake the surplus off, place it in the egg wash and cover evenly, then move to the final bowl and toss in the bread crumb mixture. Fry them up in olive oil until evenly browned and enjoy. These are great plain, but this morning we’re having them for breakfast smothered with sausage gravy.
There are so many wonderful and unique uses for your garden or farmers market bounty, and the whole family can participate in creating and learning the important lesson of waste not want not.