Green Tomato Curry

Season’s Greetings!

I won’t dwell on the fact that there has been a significant lack of recent content here. The second half of 2016 has been exciting and eventful; the activity simply has not taken place in my kitchen.

At minimum, I wanted to share with you a recipe I had executed a few months back, during the transition from summer harvest into fall/winter hibernation.

When I had a job with a normal, local work week, I would frequently travel on the weekends. Now that I’m gone many weeks, I have tried to keep the weekend plans limited. Plus there was the 9 months I spent with class on Saturdays–the weekends finally started feeling solidly long (that is, when I wasn’t traveling for part of them). So on a Saturday in mid-October I gave in to the cooler weather and spend much of the day retiring the garden for the season. Does anyone experience some sense of relief when this happens? No more weeding. No more tomatoes rotting before I can use them. No more weird gross evidence of bugs.

The wintering over meant the last big batch of jalapeños and–yes–tomatoes, green ones. Lots. Of the options for cooking green tomatoes, I had already once made the requisite fried green tomatoes, and as for pickled tomato relish? Um, I still have some from last season. So I wanted to mix it up.
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My husband is a fan of curries and spiced foods, served over rice, so I wondered if there was anyone who had documented an attempt to make a green tomato curry. Of course there was! Other than a few basic substitutions, I followed the version described by Kerry from Classic Cookery on the kitchn, and was mostly content with the result — it just needed more spice! Nothing a little chili-garlic sauce can’t help.

Looks seasonally appropriate to me!

Looks seasonally appropriate to me!

Green Tomato Curry
Adapted from recipe on the kitchn

Tool needed: immersion blender

2 Tb clarified butter (ghee)
2 Tb shallot
, minced
1 tsp curry powder
2 Cups green tomatoes
, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
As many roasted peppers as desired, up to 5 Cups
(I scrounged up less than 2 Cups)
2 cloves garlic, roasted and smashed
1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Cayenne pepper
Cumin
Coriander
1 Cup light coconut milk
1 Tablespoon Asian chili-garlic paste
, to taste
Brown or white rice or naan, for serving

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Preheat the oven and roast your garlic cloves and peppers, if starting from scratch. I usually cook these at around 375F.

These peppers could have gone a little longer.

These peppers could have gone a little longer.


Stem, core and chop your tomatoes.
There was some parts of the tomatoes I sliced and tossed because they didn't really seem edible.

There was some parts of the tomatoes I sliced and tossed because they didn’t really seem edible.


Taste the rainbow!

Taste the rainbow!


In a soup pot or high-sided saucepan, melt butter. Add shallots and cook on low heat until soft and fragrant.

Add curry powder, add tomatoes, and season with salt and pepper. Allow tomatoes to warm fully and start to soften.
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Next add the roasted peppers, peeled and smashed garlic, and garbanzo beans.
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Add about a teaspoon each of cumin and coriander, and then start adding cayenne pepper to taste–this can get very hot. The amount of spice you will need depends on the amount of peppers you end up using.
Cook for a few minutes until hot, and add coconut milk. Bring to a simmer and add seasoning.
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DSC_3603Use an immersion blender to blend the “soup” until mostly smooth but leaving some chunks of tomato, pepper, and whole beans. Taste again and add spice as needed.

Serve in a bowl over rice. Be sure to transfer desired amount to freezer containers for later meals!
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Green Tomato and Swiss Chard Gratin

The summer has been much cooler than previous summers, which has been refreshing. Lower energy bills are a perk, and subway and walking commutes are much less sticky. But the lower temperatures mean that my tomatoes have been pokey about ripening. I’m getting impatient! Chances are, as always, as soon as a couple of fruits start ripening, too many will, and I will be scrambling. Before that happens, I stole a few unripened tomatoes from the plant to make this dish.
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This is the first time I have tapped into the green tomatoes so early. There are usually some left over on the plant when the first frost creeps in, and I snatch them before my garden is winterized.

I make fried green tomatoes at least once every year. They keep me in touch with my southern roots. Buttermilk dressings and remoulade sauce make excellent pairings. In this recipe, lightly fried tomatoes make the topping of the gratin. It seems to me more like a crustless quiche of Swiss chard and Gruyère cheese with a green tomato topping.
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I hope you’re not getting sick of me posting about chard. Remember, you can substitute pretty much any hearty green..spinach, kale, collards, mustard greens, etc. I just happen to have chard again!
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Green Tomato and Swiss Chard Gratin
Reproduced from Martha Rose Shulman’s recipe in The New York Times

1 bunch Swiss chard, stems separated from the leaves
1 lb green tomatoes, sliced a little less than 1/2 inch thick
1/2-3/4 Cup cornmeal for dredging, as needed
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 onion
, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 Cup milk
Approx 1/2 Cup or 2-3 ounces Gruyère cheese
, grated

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Prepare your 2-quart baking dish by spraying it with cooking spray or olive oil.

To blanch the swiss chard leaves, fill a large pot with salted water and bring to a boil. Fill a bowl with ice water. While the water heats, dice the swiss chard stems and set aside to be combined with the chopped onion.

Taste the rainbow.

Taste the rainbow.


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Once boiling, drop the chard leaves in the water and blanch for about 1 minute.
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Lift out of the water and transfer to the ice water to stop the cooking. Put the leaves in a colander to drain excess water. Chop and set aside.

Slice your green tomatoes. This is a little tedious with the plum tomatoes–ideally you have abundant round beefsteak or big boys. Season the slices with a little salt and pepper, and add a little salt and pepper to the cornmeal as well.
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Dredge the tomatoes in the cornmeal.
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Glug 2 Tablespoons of the olive oil in a heavy nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Pan-fry the tomatoes for about two minutes each side, until they are just starting to turn golden. A narrow flexible spatula, like the type used for fish, is helpful for turning over the slippery suckers. When done, transfer to a plate and set aside.
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While frying the tomatoes, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Add more olive oil to the now-empty pan and pour in the onion and chopped chard stems. Saute for about 5 minutes, until the vegetables soften. Add a pinch of salt, some grinds of pepper, and your minced garlic.
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Cook for about a minute, and then finally add the thyme and chopped chard. Stir everything together over medium heat for another minute. Good luck keeping it in the pan as your stir! Taste the mixture and add salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, whisk the 3 eggs with a generous pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper. Pour in the milk, stir, and then add the cheese and chard and stir. Pour into your baking dish.
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Layer the tomatoes over the top.
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Transfer to the oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes. The gratin is done when the eggs are set and it is beginning to brown.

Could be browner.

Could be browner.


This makes a generous 6 servings, so I will be enjoying it all week!
Chow down!

Chow down!