Green Tomato Goodness

I was given a box of green tomatoes recently, so got busy in the kitchen inventing new ways to use them. We do love fried green tomatoes, but can’t eat that crispy, tangy, spicy goodness every day!

What a versatile vegetable it is: Turkish, Burmese, Southern U.S, or Kiwi. We have been playing with Burmese food quite a bit lately, so adapted a Burmese green tomato salad from the Shan region to suit our firm green tomatoes. Then one night we were searing a groper steak and then finishing it off in the oven. I wanted to add something nice to dress it before eating, so came up with the green tomato salsa. The balsamic vinegar and the addition of a few of our home-made sun-dried tomatoes really sweetened up what otherwise would be quite a tart salsa. Then there is the good old green tomato rice that goes so well with South American meat dishes. Or try a twist on a traditional Turkish Salad

I am almost looking forward to the end of summer when our own tomato vines have produced lots of last minute fruits that probably won’t ripen because it is too cool.

Burmese Green Tomato Salad

2 tablespoons raw peanuts

1 garlic clove very finely sliced

2 tablespoons peanut oil

5 green tomatoes, finely sliced

4 red tomatoes, finely sliced

1 small white salad onion or red onion, sliced, soaked in water for 10 minutes

handful of sliced coriander, plus extra to garnish

2 teaspoons ground black sesame

1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes

pinch of salt

juice of half a lime

1 tablespoon of sesame oil

1 red chilli sliced, to garnish

 

Heat the peanut oil in a pan until hot. Add the peanuts and fry, stirring occasionally until browned. Spoon the peanuts out into a mortar and pestle, leaving the oil in the pan. Add the sliced garlic to the hot oil and cook until golden and crispy. Take the crisp garlic out of the oil and drain on paper towels. Crush the peanuts in the mortar and pestle.

Drain the onions and squeeze out any water. Put all of the ingredients in a bowl except the garlic and fresh chilli.  Mix it all gently together until well combined. Taste and adjust with more salt, sesame oil or lime juice if needed. Pile onto a serving platter and scatter with the crispy garlic and fresh chilli.

burmese tomato salad2

I invented the following recipe one night while trying to decide what to dress some plain-cooked groper with. It went really well with a groper steak that was seared in a pan then finished off in the oven for 10 minutes. I think it will go well with all kinds of fish, but also try it on pork chops or poached chicken

Green Tomato Salsa

3 large green tomatoes, diced

1 white onion, diced

1 clove garlic, crushed

½ red capsicum, diced

2 tablespoons of olive oil

2 tablespoons of sun-dried tomatoes, diced

1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoons chopped coriander

Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the onion and sweat gently. When soft add the garlic and capsicums. Stir for a minute, then add the green tomatoes. Cook on a low heat until soft. Add the balsamic vinegar and stir in. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and continue cooking for about 5 minutes until well combined. Take it off the heat and allow to cool slightly before stirring through the coriander. Keep refrigerated.

greenies

Recently, I replicated a Turkish recipe called Çoban Salatasi (Shepherd’s Salad) that is usually made with red tomatoes, cucumber, parsley, red onion and lemon juice. This variation is Yeşil Salatasi which is Green Salad. I would never usually put sugar in a salad dressing, but in this case the green tomatoes need a little sweetening.

1 cucumber, seeded and diced

1 green capsicum, seeded and diced

2 spring onions, finely sliced

3 green tomatoes, diced finely

1 bunch flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Juice of 1 lemon

½ teaspoon sugar

½ teaspoon salt

½ green chilli (optional), finely diced

Extra virgin olive oil

Mix the lemon juice, sugar, salt, chilli and olive oil for a dressing. Put all of the vegetables in a bowl and toss with the dressing. Leave to sit for 10 minutes for the flavours to infuse.

turkish gt salad

Then this traditional dish from the Southern States would be lovely with pork.

Green Tomato Rice

4 slices bacon, diced

6 spring onions, sliced, with most of the green

5 medium green tomatoes, peeled and chopped

1 jalapeno pepper, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

2 cups chicken stock

1 cup long-grain rice

salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

dash Tabasco sauce, optional

1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese, optional

In a medium saucepan, sauté the bacon over medium heat until crisp and then drain it on paper towels. Sauté the spring onions for 1 minute in the bacon fat. Add the green tomatoes and sauté for 1 minute longer. Add garlic and jalapeno pepper; and sauté for another 30 seconds. Add the chicken stock, rice, pepper, and Tabasco sauce. Bring to a boil. Stir and reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed. Stir in the Parmesan cheese just before serving, if desired. Sprinkle with the cooked bacon.

Green tomatoes sliced for Burmese Salad

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