You don't have to fry what you can bake! Enjoy these green tomatoes, as in fried green tomatoes, just a tad healthier than they would usually be, yet just as good. If you're wondering what's up with green tomatoes, here's the lowdown: green tomatoes used for frying (or baking in this case) are almost always unripened red tomatoes that are picked early to hold their firmness. However, there are ripened green tomato varieties. More on that below. Back to this simple recipe, which uses unripened red tomatoes, sliced and baked, with a brown sugar and cracker crumb topping.
- 4 large green tomatoes
- salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup cracker crumbs (coarse)
- 4 tablespoons butter
- Heat the oven to 350 F.
- Cut the green tomatoes into 1/2 inch slices.
- Arrange green tomato slices in a greased baking dish. Season with salt and pepper and then spread each slice with about 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar.
- Cover the tomatoes with crumbs and dot with butter.
- Bake until the tomatoes are tender but still firm, or about 25 to 35 minutes.
Where to Buy Green Tomatoes
Green tomatoes are a different variety than red ones and are available fully ripe, but because they're grown in smaller batches and highly seasonal in most of the US, they are extremely hard to find in local grocery stores.
If you're not in Southern California, you may only find these available in the summer in your locale. Try specialty or health food stores during this time. If the produce section expert is no help, you should be able to find green heirloom tomatoes at a farm produce stand or farmer's market. You can use ripe green tomato varieties for this recipe, but unripened green tomatoes are your best bet.
Heirlooms ripen faster than other more commercial varieties of tomatoes and should only be purchased with a few days of being eaten. Heirlooms have a great hearty texture, but after prolonged exposure to cold temperatures (41 F or below) the tomato will soften and become mushy. For this reason, you should never store tomatoes in your refrigerator. Instead keep unripened tomatoes in a paper bag or cardboard box, stem side down, in a single layer. If your tomatoes have ripened, they should be kept at room temperature on the counter away from sunlight. When you buy green tomatoes for this recipe, they should be firm, not soft to the touch. Be sure to avoid tomatoes with splits or cracks.
Here are two more green tomato recipes: