Dash of Class: Tomatoes

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Food column by Nora Sweat

By Nora Sweat

Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes: If we have a good growing season they are very plentiful and if not, they are few and far between.

It seems this summer our tomatoes are plentiful. I have been sharing with family and friends.

The first recipe is very common to us that have grown up in this area and farther south, so I thought it might be fun to include it in case you have never had one. I just never realized it is a very big favorite.

Actually, I thought it was because we ran out of bacon. Yum. I love bacon and tomato sandwiches.

Another southern favorite is fried green tomatoes. I usually don’t have those until close to frost I just love those red and especially yellow tomatoes.

The tart and the pie are recipes I haven’t tried, but I especially like the possibility of making a tomato pie. Salsa has been requested in years past. It is an easy way to use up some tomatoes before they spoil.

Tomato and Mayonnaise Sandwich
2 slices white or wheat bread, or even a bun or a sub bun
2 tablespoons Mayonnaise (or more)
1 tomato
I prefer to peel my tomato, but that is up to you. Slice and plate on bread. Put top slice on top and enjoy.

Tomato Tart
2 teaspoons cornmeal, divided
1 refrigerated pie pastry
Cooking spray
3 tablespoons shredded Asiago cheese
3 large heirloom tomatoes cut into 1/4-inch slices
3 small heirloom tomatoes cut into 1/4-inch slice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup crumbled goat or feta cheese
Fresh basil leaves, optional

Sprinkle a large baking sheet with 1 teaspoon cornmeal. Then on a lightly floured surface, roll remaining cornmeal, pressing cornmeal gently into dough. Prick thoroughly with a fork. Sprinkle with Asiago cheese.

Bake tart at 450 degrees for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack and layer with tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil; sprinkle with pepper and salt. Top with goat cheese; garnish with basil if desired. Serve immediately.

Taste of Home, 2014

Fried Green Tomatoes
5 green tomatoes cut into ½-inch-thick slices
1½ teaspoons salt
1½ cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon seasoned salt
Vegetable oil for frying

Place tomato slices on paper towels. Sprinkle with ¾ teaspoon salt. Turn tomatoes and sprinkle with remaining ¾ teaspoon salt. Let stand for 30 minutes Pat dry with paper towels.
In a shallow dish, place ½ cup flour. In a separate shallow dish, whisk together buttermilk and egg. In a third shallow dish, combine cornmeal, seasoned salt, and remaining 1 cup flour.
Dredge tomatoes in flour, shaking off excess. Dip in buttermilk mixture to coat. Dredge tomatoes in cornmeal mixture, shaking off excess.
In a large skillet, pour vegetable oil to a depth of ⅛ inch; heat oil over medium heat. Add tomatoes, in batches, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side or until golden brown. Drain on a wire rack over paper towels. Serve immediately.
“Cooking with Paula Deen”, August, 2014

Tomato Pie
 3 or 4 tomatoes
 Cheddar cheese
 Fresh basil leaves
 1 teaspoon Balsamic vinegar
 Salt and pepper
 Pre-baked pie crust

Wash and slice tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt. Place in colander and let drain for 10 minutes. Arrange ½ tomato slices in baked pie crust. Sprinkle with ½ of salt and pepper, tear up some basil leaves and spread out over the tomato slices. Sprinkle balsamic vinegar over them. Top with a layer of shredded cheddar cheese. Repeat with the rest of your tomatoes, salt, pepper, basil leaves and balsamic vinegar and cheese.
Spread mayonnaise over the top. Bake the pie at 350 degrees or until it is lightly browned. Serve warm or cold.
Christy Jordan’s Country Plate July 9, 2014
Smoky Salsa
4 large plum tomatoes, halved
1 small red onion, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 jalapeño pepper, halved
1 lime, divided

Place tomatoes, onion, and jalapeño on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill tomatoes, cut side down, 6 minutes. Turn; grill for 1 minute. Grill onion and jalapeño for 6 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Remove from grill, and cool slightly. Coarsely chop tomatoes and onion; finely chop jalapeño. Combine tomatoes, onion, jalapeño, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and juice from 1/2 lime. Garnish with lime wedges.

Cooking Light, September 2009

Nora Sweat, author of "Mama and Me," is a native of Hardin County and a retired home economics/family and consumer science teacher. She can be reached at norasweat@thenewsenterprise.com or by mail at 408 W. Dixie Ave., Elizabethtown, KY 42701.