CSA Box # 12 9-7-10
This is going to be a quick letter. I just sent my 5 year old daughter Kiran off to her second day of Kindergarten and my 3 year old to grandmas’ house. I only have a few minutes for some quick updates and recipes. Most notably are the green tomatoes in your box. We decided to let you sample some of the bounty of our tomato vines before they achieve full ripeness. This season ripe tomatoes may be an iffy proposition, especially when I look outside at the clouds and rain. As I understand it in southern states green tomatoes are often stocked in grocery stores as they are so delicious and versatile… and also represent a period if southern history during the Civil War when Union troops moved though the country side taking all edibles from the fields and gardens. Apparently, green tomatoes weren’t considered edible and were left behind, while resourceful southern cooks figured out a way to feed their families with them and came up with some delicious recipes. The most famous being Fried Green tomatoes. You can also make pickles and relishes of many kinds… or that nectarine and green tomato salad that I included. I’m going to make that myself tonight as nectarines are in season from eastern Washington. There are may recipes available on the internet and in canning books as well. Have fun
Fried Green Tomatoes:
In a medium bowl, combine 1 large beaten egg, 2 Tbsp milk, ½ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper and whisk until blended. In another medium bowl, stir together ½ cup all -purpose flour and ¾ cup yellow cornmeal until well blended. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees. Pour 3 cups vegetable oil in to a large cast iron skillet to reach a ¾ inch depth and set over med-high heat. Heat the oil until a deep fry thermometer registers 350 degrees. One by one dip ¼ inch slices of green tomato into the egg mixture to coat evenly. Then dip into the cornmeal mixture, shaking off any excess and placing on a sheet of waxed paper. Fry the tomatoes in batches (do not crowd the skillet) until the coating is crisp and light golden brown. 1 to 3 minutes on each side.
Working quickly, using tongs, transfer the tomatoes to a paper towel lined baking sheet to drain. Then transfer into a unlined baking sheet and place in your warm oven to hold them until all batches are ready. Use a slotted spoon to skim the surface of the oil between batches to keep it clean. Season the tomatoes with salt and pepper and serve with a small dollop of Sauce Remoulade on the center of each slice.
For the best flavor consider slipping a slice of bacon into the oil as you add the tomatoes!
1 cup good quality mayonnaise, 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh tarragon, 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh chervil or chives, 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley, 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard, 2 heaping Tbsp minced sweet pickles, 1 Tbsp plus one tsp finely chopped capers, ½ tsp anchovy filets minced and then mashed with a fork. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and stir until well blended. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Warm Nectarine and Green Tomato Salad with Basil Balsamic Vinaigrette and Blue Cheese:
For the dressing: In a medium bowl whisk together 11/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, ½ Tbsp minced shallots, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, 1 Tbsp minced fresh basil leaves, ¼ tsp salt, ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper, and 6Tbsp extra virgin olive oil until well blended.
For the Salad: In a medium bowl, add 2 medium green tomatoes that have been cored and cut into 8 wedges and 2 ripe large nectarines that have been pitted and sliced into 8 wedges. Sprinkle them with 1 tsp granulated sugar and ½ tsp salt and toss to evenly coat. Heat 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet on medium high- heat. Once oil is shimmering, lower the heat to medium. Add the tomatoes and nectarines, resting them on one cut side (do not crowd, you may need to do this in two batches). Cook without disturbing until the tomatoes are dark golden brown and the nectarines are light golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. The nectarines will carmelize sooner than the tomatoes. Flip the tomatoes and nectarines and repeat on the second side. Remove both from the pan onto a plate and drizzle 4 Tbsp of the vinaigrette over the fruit while warm.
In a medium bowl place 6 cups torn lettuce leaves, 1 cup fresh basil leaves that are also torn, and toss with 4 Tbsp of the vinaigrette. Divide among 4 serving plates. Top the lettuces with evenly divided tomato and nectarine wedges. Sprinkle with ½ cup blue cheese. Drizzle on extra vinaigrette to taste and serve.
(From Jolene George for the Oregonian Extra).
Until next week, Asha