I grew tomatoes for the first time ever this year. No doubt some folks may be rolling their eyes right now and thinking “big deal!” but as any plant who has ever had the misfortune of calling me Mommie Dearest can tell you, I’ve got a big ole’ black thumb. So when Meatlovin’ Man’s uncle gave me a baby tomato plant this May, my nervous reaction was not completely unfounded. The poor plant almost died twice in the first month due to neglect. But in the end I got the hang of it and eating that first ripe tomato off of the vine I had nurtured was a wonderful experience. When the weather turned cold this week I picked off the last remaining green tomatoes, put them on the sill, and asked green thumb guru The Yarden for help on how to eat them. She supplied me with a list of interesting options and it was the Green Tomato Bread that caught my fancy, so I gave it a whirl.
Green Tomato Bread, courtesy of Cooking with Michele
• 1/2 cup canola oil (I only had 1/3 cup)
• 8 ounces nonfat yogurt, plain (I only had ~6 oz sour cream)
• 3 large eggs
• 1 cup sugar (I didn’t have Splenda, so I used 1.5 cups of sugar)
• 1 cup Splenda (or use all sugar)
• 2 cups green tomatoes, pureed, juice drained and discarded (I had 5 or 6 small tomatoes, which made ~1.5 cups puree)
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 cup whole wheat flour
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 2 teaspoons cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two loaf pans (I just sprayed the bottom of the pans and the loaves came out fine). Quarter the green tomatoes and put into the food processor or blender.
Drain the puree in a fine colander, getting rid of most of the liquid.
Combine oil, yogurt, eggs, sugar, Splenda and green tomato puree in a large bowl and mix well.
Sift together all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and spices and add to wet ingredients along with the whole wheat flour. Stir together just until combined. Divide evenly between two prepared pans and bake just until a toothpick comes clean from the center of the bread, about 45 minutes. Let cool in pans, then remove. To retain moisture, wrap in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator. May be frozen.
And the verdict is… pretty darn good! If you were told by someone “This was made with unripe green tomatoes” then you could discern a bright, tart essence of tomato. Otherwise it very closely resembles most cinnamon/nutmeg/clove quick breads. Personally, I like it. And if I manage to not to kill off next year’s crop, now I have a whole list of creative recipes for green tomatoes!