I go out to my garden now and it's still warm, like summer. But the leaves on big maple trees in the back are starting to turn and I can see the vague copper tips. It's that transition season when you want to grab the last of summer but your head understands that autumn is coming.
I've picked dozens of luscious tomatoes in the last few weeks, but there are still some green ones hanging on the vines. Do I wait for them to ripen and have the last few precious bites?
What if there's a sudden frost! That happened to me last year and all my tomatoes were ruined.
Here's what to do: use some green tomatoes and leave just a few to ripen and hope for the best.
This year I decided to pack them into a sandwich.
Fried Green Tomato, Roasted Red Pepper and Cheese Sandwich
- 2 medium red bell peppers
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 large eggs, beaten with one teaspoon water
- 3/4 cup plain bread crumbs
- 12-16 slices green tomato (about 1/2-inch thick)
- 4 Portuguese rolls, sliced
- vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat the oven broiler or outdoor grill with the rack about 4 inches from the heat source. Remove the stem and seeds from the bell peppers and cut them into quarters. Brush the pepper pieces with the olive oil. Broil the pepper pieces, turning them occasionally, for 8–10 minutes or until charred. Remove the pieces to a plate. When cool, peel off the skin.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Mix the flour with some salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Place the beaten eggs in another dish. Place the breadcrumbs in a third dish. Coat the tomato slices with flour. Shake off the excess. Dip the coated slices in the beaten eggs, covering the slices completely. Coat the slices with the breadcrumbs. Place the tomato slices on a cookie sheet or baking rack to air dry for at least 15 minutes. Heat about 1/4-inch vegetable oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Fry the tomatoes for 2-3 minutes per side or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
Place the rolls in the oven to warm them up for about 4-5 minutes. Remove the rolls from the oven. While the rolls are warming, mix the mayonnaise and basil together. Spread equal amounts of the mayonnaise on the bottoms of each of the rolls. Top each with 3-4 tomato slices. Top each with two roasted pepper quarters. Top each with equal amounts of the cheese. Finally, cover with the top of the roll. Place back in the oven for a minute or so to slightly melt the cheese and serve.
Makes 4 sandwiches