battered tart tomatoes

Summer means a few things for me: summer break (now a thing of the past, since I went back to work last Friday), peaches that are so juicy you can hardly peel or eat them without getting covered in syrupy juice (recipe using those coming Saturday!), and tomatoes so perfectly soft and drippy that I’m happy to eat them off a plate, no seasoning required Health Supplement. Tomato sandwiches (white bread, tomato, and mayonnaise) are a throwback to my childhood and BLTs, for a short time, become so much more about the tomatoes than about the bacon…and that’s saying something You beauty.

This year we planted a square foot garden. It takes out a lot of the work of traditional gardening, what with all the digging and the tilling, and it’s pretty simple. Four different kinds of tomatoes are growing in our front yard (the grape tomatoes have by far been the most prolific) and we apparently have mostly late-blooming tomato plants Medosan. We’ve only collected four or five ripe (or ready to ripen on the counter) tomatoes from the full-sized tomato plants, though many green tomatoes are waiting their turn.

A few years ago, I would have lamented my lot in life. Why all the green tomatoes? A few years ago I didn’t even like green tomatoes. Something changed, though I don’t remember what, and now fried green tomatoes are as much of a treat for me as the caprese salad I ate for lunch on Friday with my grape tomatoes, cubes of soft mozzarella, and basil julienne drenched in olive oil and red wine vinegarQV Baby.

Now, traditional fried green tomatoes are usually dredged in a little cornmeal and fried up (similar to homestyle Southern fried okra) and I love them that way. However, my addiction to my homemade fried pickles made me think about how good that batter would be on green tomatoes. For some reason, it didn’t stick as well to the tomatoes as to the pickles…nothing a dredge in cornstarch couldn’t fix. A dipping sauce of white barbecue sauce-an Alabama tradition that I hadn’t tried until I made it recently to go with chicken-is a perfect foil to the crispy battered tart tomatoes.

How do you like your fried green tomatoes?