I made another trip to the farmers’ market on Wednesday in search of some inspiration for my next blog post.  This has become a regular thing for me, and I’m really loving.  I enjoy the unexpected aspect of shopping at the market; I never know what’s going to be there, and I choose what I’m going to buy solely on what catches my eye.

green tomatoes > red

What caught my eye this trip was something I have never used before – green tomatoes!  There was a small basket of them sitting next to a huge crate of regular tomatoes, and they seriously called to me.  I think I have only eaten green tomatoes once before – on a hamburger.  Masked by the flavors of the beef, gooey cheese, and fried egg (yes, I went there) it was nearly impossible to taste the green tomato, so I was totally unprepared when I popped a raw slice of one of these suckers in my mouth – it was SO GOOD.  When you first taste it, it has the classic flavors of a regular tomato, but then you are hit with a really pleasant and subtle sour tang.  They are seriously so good.

i can taste the tang now

I chose to make a variation of fried green tomatoes by baking them rather then frying them (my attempt at being health conscious), and topping them with a little crumble of blue cheese and some excellent basil vinaigrette. Halfway through cooking these, I was a little apprehensive at how they would taste – I just wasn’t sure how everything would come together.  I was SO pleasantly surprised though when I bit into these little treats…they were amazing!  Don’t skip any of the elements cause they all went really well together – plus, blue cheese on anything will only enhance the flavor by 167%.  These would be excellent appetizers, or even a small lunch – really any way you eat them, I promise you will enjoy them!

might not photograph the best, but oh so tasty

Baked Green Tomatoes with Basil Vinaigrette and Blue Cheese 

Serves 4 (assuming 1/2 tomato is one serving)

  • 2 large green tomatoes, cut into slices
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal (use the finest grind you can find – I used medium, and it was a little too crunchy)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes (this is optional, but as you know, I am on a red pepper kick right now)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg, beaten, combined with 1/2 cup milk
  • blue cheese crumbles
  • Basil Vinaigrette 
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed basil leaves
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
Start by preheating your oven to 450 degrees.  Prepare your “dredging station” by mixing the flour/cornmeal/red pepper/panko/salt in one bowl, and the milk and egg in another.  Have your tomatoes ready to dredge.

note the abundance of red pepper flakes

Take your tomato slices and dip them first in the egg mixture, and then in the flour mixture, covering completely.  Transfer to a greased baking sheet.  Repeat with all the tomato slices.

crunchy

When you have used all the tomato slices, pop the baking sheet in the oven.  Cook for about 20 minutes, flipping the tomatoes halfway through.  At the very end of baking, sprinkle a little blue cheese on the tomatoes.

While the tomatoes are baking, make the vinaigrette by blending the basil, olive oil, and balsamic in a food processor.  So simple, so delicious.

When the tomatoes are done, serve them up on a plate with a little drizzle of basil vinaigrette.  These are addicting!

another farmers' market success

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17 responses »

  1. I love the idea of baking the green tomatoes and that vinaigrette sounds mouthwatering! Thanks for sharing and for stopping by my blog!

    • Cater To Me says:

      The vinaigrette was probably my favorite part (well, the blue cheese and tomato weren’t bad either, really haha) and I can see using it on all kinds of things! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Ann says:

    Oh – this is fabulous! I am SO buzzing this one….they look absolutely amazing!

  3. Kathy Lorenzato says:

    Hi Mandy,
    Congratulations on getting runner-up in the Eat Local Challenge! I’d like to get a few comments from you to include in the next issue of the Co-op newsletter, the Vine. How do I get in touch with you? PS My deadline is past, so I need to talk with you soon!
    Kathy Lorenzato

  4. Cater To Me says:

    Hi Kathy! That sounds great! You can contact me at acbeck@ucdavis.edu…I will be sure to respond quickly!

  5. tiffany says:

    This sounds delish! And I think your photography is great! 😀

  6. I too am enamored with the unusual qualities of green tomatoes! This recipe looks delightful (don’t skimp on the red pepper!)

  7. briarrose says:

    I’ve always wanted to try making some green tomatoes. Great recipe. Love it’s baked instead of fried.

    • Cater To Me says:

      I’d always wanted to make them too, and I figured fried green tomatoes is such a classic that it would be a good start off point. Baking them made me feel slightly healthier, too!

  8. Oh my, that is a fantabulous idea!! I have a bunch of green tomatoes in my garden … I can do this!!

  9. sarah says:

    I’ve been eating tomatoes like they’re going out of style and these look so, so good with all that blue cheese. Pretty pictures too!

  10. Annie says:

    I just bought green tomatos at the farmer’s market!! We fried some last week and they were so good! We usually fry them but I will definitely be putting blue cheese and basil vinaigrette on them this time!

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