If you're growing your own tomatoes without the benefit of a greenhouse, the drop in the temperature will see those remaining tomatoes struggle for ripeness and rather than just leaving them on the vine it makes sense to put them to some type of culinary use.
For me there's one dish that immediately springs to mind - fried green tomatoes. There are quite a few variations - from the classic Southern style with a cornmeal coating, to those using breadcrumbs or panko. Some recipes will see you dip the tomato slices into buttermilk, others into egg.
I've opted for an amalgam of sorts - I'll first lightly coat the tomato slices in blue cornmeal before dipping them into an egg-wash. My crumb coating is a mix of fine breadcrumbs, grated parmesan and slivered basil giving it more of an Italian feel.
Green Tomato Fritters
4 green tomatoes, cut into ½cm thick slices
blue cornmeal (any fine cornmeal will do)
1 egg, lightly whisked with 1 tablespoon milk
freshly grated parmesan
fresh basil leaves, finely sliced
Prepare the crumbing mix:
I find that using ⅓ cheese to ⅔ breadcrumbs is a good mix - though you can happily adjust to suit your own taste. I find that there's enough salt in the parmesan that I don't need to add any extra. Likewise the amount of basil is up to your own taste - I've used fresh but you can use dried but be wary as it is more strongly flavoured.
Place the breadcrumbs, parmesan and finely sliced basil into a shallow bowl, stir well ensure the ingredients are well distributed.
Make the fritters:
Dust the tomato slices very lightly in cornmeal.
Take one slice and dip into the egg-wash, coat both sides with egg, drain off the excess before placing it into the crumbing mix. Make sure both sides are evenly coated then remove to a board. Lightly press down to ensure the crumbs have attached.
Repeat the process with the rest of the slices.
To give the fritters a bit more body, I repeat the process - dipping them into the egg-wash and into the crumb mix.
Cook the fritters:
I've opted to sauté the tomatoes in a mix of butter and oil rather than shallow or deep frying them. They should only take a few minutes each side - once one side is golden, flip them over and continue until browned. Once cooked, place the fritters onto paper towels to remove any excess butter/oil.
They can now be served.
Since the slices aren't too large, they are perfect for finger-food.