Monday, October 09, 2006

Green... but not with envy

Summer's sad, soggy end did not bode well for my "crops." Instead of a second round of salsa and salads, sauce and sandwiches, I've got a big brown bag full of under-ripe tomatoes. Sigh.

I plan to make some green tomato relish. Does anyone else have any recipe suggestions?

Meanwhile, I did manage to cull some seeds from my riper, redder specimens. Before this final harvest, I wasn't all too sure that there would be any to collect from, and I've been wondering if seed-saving from under-ripe tomatoes was advisable. Now that I have my "control group" of ripe tomato seeds, I think I will go ahead and save some green tomato seeds as well. This little experiment should keep me quite busy in the greenhouse come winter.

Here's a murky shot of my rather murky tomato seeds...

Apparently you need to soak the seeds in order to allow them to ferment. This was news to me. Does anyone else out there soak their tomato seeds? With my first batch, I simply scooped them out and plopped them on a paper towel to dry. Days passed, the seeds affixed themselves to the towel, and as I was prying them off and doing my best to pick away the papery fuzz they'd acquired, I realized that there might be more to this seed-saving thing. A little time with Google revealed a whole step-by-step, seed-saving process. Who knew? Anyway, if I'm really feeling scientific, I may sow the unfermented, Bounty/Roma hybrid seeds as well. It may be a long, slow winter, after all.


Liz said...

This is the one I made: Green Tomato Relish. It's surprisingly good! (hope it's not too late)

LAMG said...

Probably too late, but I made this dish using my unriped green tomatoes and it was fabulous. I'm actually making it again tonight (November 14) as I have more green tomatoes on my own remaining plant, if you can believe that. There are even still flowers. I don't think the plant realizes winter is almost here.

Cheesy Polenta-Green Tomato Gratin

This unique side tastes somewhat like a tamale. Serve with grilled chicken or fish.

1 3/4 cups 1% low-fat milk
3/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
Cooking spray

1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
2 1/2 cups chopped firm green tomato (about 2 large)
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
3/4 cup (3 ounces) crumbled queso fresco
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Fresh cilantro sprigs (optional)

Preheat oven to 425°.
To prepare polenta, combine first 3 ingredients in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Gradually stir in cornmeal, stirring constantly. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes or until thick, stirring frequently. Spread mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray.

To prepare tomatoes, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tomato and the next 5 ingredients (through garlic); sauté 6 minutes or until tomato is tender. Remove from heat; stir in chopped cilantro. Spoon tomato mixture over polenta; sprinkle with cheeses. Bake at 425° for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Garnish with cilantro sprigs, if desired.

Yield: 6 servings

CALORIES 191 (29% from fat); FAT 6.1g (sat 3.2g,mono 2.3g,poly 0.3g); PROTEIN 8.7g; CHOLESTEROL 16mg; CALCIUM 211mg; SODIUM 412mg; FIBER 1.7g; IRON 1.1mg; CARBOHYDRATE 25g

Cooking Light, AUGUST 2005