Thursday, December 16, 2010

Oven-Fried Green Tomatoes



In my ongoing effort to fully absorb Southern life and culture, I decided to try my hand at fried green tomatoes. Seeing as fried green tomatoes are a quintessential Southern food, I like anything covered in cornmeal, and I came across a big bag of discounted green tomatoes at the Farmer's Market last Saturday, it was clear that the time to experiment had arrived. 

After a little Googling, I found a recipe that seemed easy and do-able, and vegan to boot! The tomatoes are not actually fried, but rather baked in the oven for 30 minutes. Cheating? Perhaps, but fried things don't sit well with me and I'm positive that this version is healthier. Since I've never had an actual fried green tomato, I can't say whether these are comparable. What I can say is that they're addictive - slightly sweet, with a crunchy exterior and a soft middle, and perfect for popping into your mouth while preparing a pot of black bean chili. Yum!

Even more exciting than green tomatoes is the fact that I finally got to use the lightbox I made a few weeks ago, using the handy tutorial provided by the (Never)homemakers! As you can see in the above photo, I took all these pictures at night. While they're not perfect, they're definitely a huge improvement over my usual yellow, grainy shots. I'm going to keep experimenting with lighting and backgrounds, but in the meantime - success! Now, on to the recipe.

Oven-Fried Green Tomatoes
(adapted from FatFreeVegan)

You Will Need:
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoon ground flax seed
1/2 cup dry polenta grits (for an extra crunchy crunch)
1/4 cup spelt flour
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 medium green tomatoes

Preheat oven to 425. Spray a baking sheet lightly with canola oil or non-stick spray.

Combine the water and ground flax seeds in a small bowl and beat vigorously for one minute. and blend at high speed for 30 seconds. Let sit for a few minutes to thicken slightly.

In another bowl, combine the grits, flour, cornstarch, pepper and salt. Cut the tomatoes into slices about 1/2-1 inch thick. Submerge a tomato slice in the flax-water, gently shake off the excess liquid, and place the slice into cornmeal mixture. Press lightly to assure that bottom of slice is covered with cornmeal and turn to coat other side. Place on prepared baking sheet.

When all tomato slices are coated, bake for 15 minutes, or until bottoms are golden brown. Turn and bake another 15 minutes to brown other side. Remove from oven and serve immediately. This recipe should serve six, but Nathan and I ate them all in one sitting. We're crazy like that.