Many years ago I started a serious collection of cookbooks , as a stay at home mum , I was about to fulfil my dream of being with my children as they grew up and indulge in my love of cooking . I came across a cookbook author Sara Foster , I was smitten by her southern charm , her amazing recipes and in particular her spin on "fried green tomatoes".
Forward to the summer of 2006, when I spent 7 weeks holidaying in Greece . Enjoying some time in Athens then travelling south to visit with my parents at their house up in the mountains. A bountious garden greeted us , beans, corn, tomatoes ( ....no heirloom zebra ,alas ) peppers and I think a rather brave canteloupe plant clinging to dear life on the side of the driveway .
The days were passing and it would soon be time to return to Chicago, but up until that time , we did not have the opportunity to enjoy that many vine-ripened tomatoes. Plenty of green ones ....... oh.... so many green tomatoes - just starting to blush , teasing us with the fact that we would not be here to enjoy them .
Not too sure how the following recipe came to be, but I thought of Sara Foster's recipe and the fact that people do eat green tomatoes - I had to put my spin on this dish and give it a mediterranean makeover .
This dish is a great appetiser , to be enjoyed atop a slice of sourdough bread, as a side dish for steak , grilled fish and plain rice .
The secret is not to salt the tomatoes while they are marinating , as this draws out too much moisture and makes them mushy. I used thyme and rosemary , that is what I had in my kitchen , if you are not a friend of rosemary just use thyme ( or vica-versa) if you are not a friend of garlic - please omit - the dish will survive without it . The herbs have to be fresh - the dry stuff just does not cut it .
So, as the tomatoes in your gardens start to look a little sad and the chances of then ripening are getting slimmer , consider this dish ............... I know you will fall in love with it .
Not your mommas Fried Green Tomatoes
a GG original recipe
2 large green tomatoes - just starting to blanch a little , but still quite green
some fresh thyme and rosemary - roughly chopped
freshly ground pepper
good olive oil to coat
balsamic vinegar - a couple of drizzles
Kefalograviera Cheese , substitute Parmiggiano or Pecorino
Cut the tomatoes across the width of the tomato then into long slices . Place in a ceramic dish and add the rest of the ingredients except the cheese and sea salt .
Toss to combine and allow to marinate for about 1-2 hours.
Heat a cast iron saute pan or any type of non stick pan until it is quite hot. Place the slices of tomatoes in the pan , making sure they do not touch ( as this causes them to steam ) for about 1 minute - or until they take on a bit of colour.
Continue cooking all the tomatoe slices place on a serving dish . Sprinkle some sea salt on the tomatoes, drizzle with a little more balsamic vinegar and another drizzle of oil . Add a few shavings of your preferred cheese and some freshly grated pepper ......... enjoy !