Fried Green Tomato and Basil Sandwiches
If you can't wait for the green tomatoes to ripen indoors, try this satisfying sandwich from The Herbal Palate Cookbook by myself and Sal Gilbertie (Storey Communications, 1996; $19.95).
4 green tomatoes (about 2 pounds)
1 cup unbleached flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
2/3 cup buttermilk
8 slices whole-wheat bread, toasted
2 tablespoons low-fat or reduced-calorie mayonnaise
Enough basil leaves to cover 4 sandwiches
Slice tomatoes 1/2 inch thick. In a flat bowl, combine flour, salt, and pepper. Pour the buttermilk into another flat bowl. Pour oil in a heavy skillet to 1/8 inch deep. Heat the oil over high heat until a speck of flour dropped in dances around.
Dip the tomato slices in the buttermilk, then in the flour mixture, coating both sides. Lay each slice gently in the oil. Lower the heat to medium. Fry until golden brown on one side, then turn and fry until golden on the other side. Remove with a slotted spatula and drain on paper towels.
Toast the bread. Spread the mayonnaise on four slices of toast, then distribute the basil leaves on the bread. Top with fried tomato slices and the remaining slices of toast. Serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings.
Summer may seem only minutes ago, but it won't be long before plant catalogs for next year start arriving in the mail. Do some serious dreaming, planning, and designing this winter with these two books on flowering plants. Designing With Plants by Piet Oudolf and Noel Kingsbury (Timber Press, 1999; $34.95) stretches your imagination to see plants not just for their flowers but also for their shape, form, color, size, and texture in all seasons. The Flower Gardener's Bible: Time-Tested Techniques, Creative Designs, and Perfect Plants for Colorful Gardens, by Lewis and Nancy Hill (Storey Books, 2003; $27.50) offers a solid foundation in flower garden fundamentals, as well as detailed information on 261 perennials, annuals, bulbs, wildflowers, shrubs, vines, and grasses.