I wore white pants today. Sure, it’s after Labor Day, but I figured there’s still a few more days left of summer, so I might as well rock them one last time. Some people say the “white pants rules” are a thing of the past anyway, but I’m no fashion expert. What I can speak about with a modicum of authority though is food. And I have some sad news to report via our local farmers…
Duane from The Funny Farm and Bobby from Bessmaid Garden Essentials predict that the tomato supply of 2013 is dwindling.
Noooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!! I wish they’d say it isn’t so.
At the Decatur Farmers Market this afternoon,
it was more quiet than usual, and Mountain Earth Farms was not there with their mountain of gorgeous tomatoes
like they have been for weeks. Wah!
Never fear, we still have access to a wonderland of fruits and veggies!
Mercier Orchards is selling crisp, delicious apples like hot cakes.
And the peppers and okra are still growing strong.
This variety of okra is called Zeebest, and Ben from Mealor Family Gardens told me that he’s harvesting them daily right now in my little town!
He also had small butternut squashes (Yay!) and some crazy huge ancient okra,
and crisp, sweet green beans.
There’s still quite a lot of eggplant coming out of the ground too,
along with a few bags of seriously potent arugula.
As the tomatoes are slowing down, you may find yourself with some green ones, as I did today. So, I thought I’d go ahead and share a recipe for this totally delectable Green Tomato Chutney we made at the very beginning of tomato season this year.
It can be enjoyed hot as a topping for a grilled pork tenderloin or any meat you choose. Or, you can serve the chutney at room temperature as a flavorful dip with pitas or lentil crackers or as a spread on a sandwich. You can even mix it with a little cream cheese or sour cream if you like! Stir your chutney into rice, grits, or garbanzo beans. Ooh, top an omelet or pierogies with it! This chutney is tangy, flavorful, and fresh, and honestly- it probably won’t last too long in your fridge. You’ll be slathering it on everything.
Unlike a lot of green tomato chutney recipes, this one cooks quickly and doesn’t require any canning tools.
Fresh Green Tomato Chutney
2 T canola oil
½ t red pepper flakes
2 bay leaves
1 yellow or white onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, pressed
4 large green tomatoes or 8 smaller green tomatoes, chopped into a small dice
Good several pinches of salt, fresh black pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg- about1/4 t or so
2 T champagne vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
3 T white sugar
About 2 T fresh dill, chopped
Heat oil in a medium-sized pot over medium – medium-high heat. Add red pepper flakes and bay leaves and fry for 30 seconds to a minute.
Add your onions and fry them in the oil, stirring often for 5 minutes or so, until they become soft and translucent.
Then, add your garlic and stir another 30 seconds or so.
Add your diced tomatoes and allow them to begin to soften- about 4 minutes.
Then, add the salt, pepper and nutmeg and stir.
Add vinegar and sugar. Stir to combine well. Let the mixture come up to a pretty good bubble, and then turn the heat down to a simmer. Simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, allowing the texture to become more of a jam.
Once thickened nicely, taste and adjust your seasoning. Remove your bay leaves! Then, take the pot off the heat and stir in your fresh dill.
You can serve your chutney right away, or let it sit in the fridge overnight. The dill pickle-ish flavor really comes out overnight, making it even more special.
We took this chutney over to a friend’s house for a party, and it got rave reviews!! Hopefully, you’ll fall in love with it too, and maybe it will stave off the sadness that tomato season is drawing to a close.
I’m fairly certain that we lucky southerners will have access to Florida tomatoes for quite a few weeks longer, but we may not be seeing tomato mountains at our local markets any more in 2013.
However, that means kale will be back soon, and that is awesome! Oooh, and acorn squash, and kohlrabi, and pumpkins are coming!!! Lots of goodness still on the horizon.
Happy cooking and eating to you,