My tomato plants in my garden got huge. They grew and grew, taking in sunshine and rain throughout May and June and July, reaching toward the sky. In my inexperience, I didn’t really prune them (or, “get rid of the freeloaders,” as my fellow community gardener puts it) until the plants had already begun pulling their cages out of the ground and crawling over all plants in their wake. I didn’t mind too much, since I’m pretty excited to grow tomatoes. I’d say they’re the thing I’m most excited about in my little piece of earth.
But I have limited space, so I set out to cut off some of the branches that weren’t going to bear fruit. In the process, I broke off one and then another and then another branch that had actual tomatoes on it, and it was heartbreaking! It felt like I had robbed these little babies of a chance. Nothing to be done about it after the fact, of course, so I loaded the broken tomatoes into my messenger bag, hopped on my bike, and pedaled home.
If you’ve looked over my meal plans from the past few weeks, I’ve been planning to try fried green tomatoes with my poor broken babies. I thought about making some sort of chutney or relish, but I couldn’t settle on one recipe, so fried green tomatoes it was. After looking up some ideas online, I went with a very simplified version.
First ingredient: corn.
Haha… love it. This is Bob’s Red Mill brand polenta. After slicing up the tomatoes and heating up a little olive oil in a saute pan, this was my process: dip the tomato slice in flour, then in milk, then in cornmeal, then tossed it in the pan to fry and let it cook for a few minutes on each side. Pretty simple. In the future, I’ll make it a little more fancy – use buttermilk instead of plain nonfat milk, add an egg to the wet mixture, fry in a little more oil for a treat, that kind of thing. But this was just fine.
I also tossed together a couple mini-frittatas, which is quickly becoming a go-to meal for weeknights since it’s such little hassle with such great results. For these, I whisk together some eggs, milk, cheese, herbs, and tomato – but you could go with really any ingredients. I pour them into as many muffin cups as they’ll fit into, and then bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or so (I like my eggs really done).
Didn’t it turn out really cute? Two frittatas, fried green tomatoes, cantaloupe, and a sparkling water on the side.
After dinner I had some cool sorbet for dessert. I can only find this stuff at one supermarket in my area, but I love the portion size (100 calories or so) and the delicious flavor, so it’s worth an extra trip.