The summer is flying by and August is upon us. August means tomatoes and they are in such abundance that it typically means that I’ll be eating tomatoes for a month straight. I always navigate my way to the heirlooms, with their bumpy crackly features. They’re odd and some might call them ugly, but I find them beautiful. To me, their flavor is hard to beat. They are great fresh, but not so great when it comes to frying because of their juiciness. That’s where, my hero, the green tomato steps in. I love fried green tomatoes and there’s a local restaurant that serves them up just right.
The Farmhouse has a “Farm-to-Table, Tip-to-Tail” ideology that supports local farmers and they create an ever changing seasonal menu that’s interesting and gives me an excuse to go back regularly. Everything is fresh and made from scratch. It feels good to know that I’m supporting something meaningful and responsible. I’m also eating beautiful food that’s delicious and that feels good as well. Everyone wins. Recently, I had The Farmhouse’s fried green tomatoes with onion & pepper jam and goat cheese. It hit all the right spots. Crunchy, tender, sweet, and tangy. I enjoyed it so much that it inspired me to create my own version of it, in the form of a tartine. One with fried green tomatoes, whipped thyme goat cheese, and peach chutney.
Tartines have a special place in my heart, as does chutney. I find that many of my meaningful memories are tied to food, because it always involves the people I love. Memories of sharing my first stellar tartine with my husband, while traveling abroad. Memories of house-made chutney, in my first pastry kitchen. Standing around the chutney pot, surrounded by my closest friends (who also happened to be my co-workers), scraping the left over bits from the bottom of the pan with broken crackers. A bond created by the food we shared.
Peach chutney adds the spicy-sweet, to the crunchy-salty, of this tartine. You can use whatever sturdy seasonal fruit you have on hand, in place of the peaches. As the seasons change, it’s fun to try different flavors. I hope you share this with the people in your life and enjoy creating your own food memories.
Whipped Thyme Goat Cheese
Makes 11 ounces
8 ounces chevre (goat cheese), room temperature
3 ounce sour cream
3 large sprigs fresh thyme leaves
Pinch kosher salt
Pinch ground black pepper
In a stand mixer or with a hand-held mixer, whip together chevre, sour cream, thyme leaves, salt, and pepper until combined and smooth. Set aside or refrigerate if not ready to use right away.
Makes 2 cups
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar, loosely packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, small, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 pounds firm, fresh peaches, blanched to remove the skin*, pit removed, and large diced
In a medium sauce pan, combine vinegar and sugars. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Add red pepper, onion, jalapeno, garlic, ginger, and salt. Simmer for 20 minutes or until liquid has reduced and thickened. Add peaches and simmer an additional 5-10 minutes, until peaches are tender. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes in the pot. You can store the chutney, in a clean container, for up to one week in the refrigerator. Serve at room temperature or slightly warm; however, you like it best.
*To blanch the fresh peaches: With a pairing knife, cut a small “x” into the bottom of each peach and set them aside. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then gently place the peaches into the pot for 2-3 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the peaches and place them immediately into a bowl of ice water. With a pairing knife, peel back the skins at the “x” corners.
Recipe Adapted from Epicurious.
Fried Green Tomato Tartines
Makes 4 Tartines
2 green tomatoes, sliced 1/4″ thick
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Oil for frying
Whipped Thyme Goat Cheese
4 slices of good-quality sourdough bread, lightly toasted
Combine flour, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a shallow dish. Whisk together egg and buttermilk in a separate shallow dish. Combine panko bread crumbs and cayenne in another dish. Dredge the tomatoes first in the egg buttermilk mixture. Then, the seasoned flour. Again, into the egg buttermilk mixture and finally dredge in the panko. Make sure they are well coated. Place 2-3 pieces, in a hot frying pan filled with a layer of oil that will reach half way up the side of the tomato slices. Fry the tomatoes, turning as needed, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer to paper towels and season with salt.
To serve, spread each slice of bread with a layer of whipped thyme goat cheese, then add a layer of peach chutney, and top with slices of fried green tomatoes. If desired, add a small handful of lightly dressed mixed greens on top.