There is this one tomato plant in my yard that seems hellbent on world domination. It has been in the ground two years now. It just. doesn’t. quit. It produces the most darling little white cherry tomatoes (it’s an Heirloom Snow White Cherry Tomato), and when it became obvious that it was too much for a normal tomato support, we set about building a big trellis system to just let it run wild. We made a series of overlapping rebar arches that we sort of domed over the top of one of our smaller raised beds. My intention was for it to be a fun little ‘Tomato Cave’ for the nephews to play in when they visited, but it has turned more into this:
The place where Brown Dog goes to hide when she’s in trouble. You can probably guess that she’s in there a lot. Also, every once in awhile I catch her munching on a tomato. Which is awkward because then she gets in trouble while she’s in her ‘safe place’. The whole thing is just not working out that well for her.
Anyway. I digress. Shocking, but true.
The Snow White is currently just dripping in unripe tomatoes, and for a long time (all the way back to last season when it was doing the same), I’ve been meaning to try frying them up because: Fried Green Tomatoes. And I thought: why not do it to cherry tomatoes? It always helps when food is cute.
I got my excuse to try it out when the Texan and I ran off with our friends for a weekend in Palm Desert that went something like this: pool. cocktails. pool. food. cocktails. cocktails. cocktails. It was fun to hang out and cook food with people who know their way around a kitchen (verysarie.com and bourbonandgoose.com, I’m looking at you). After I fried the tomatoes, we were sort of lamenting that the tomatoes needed a little ‘something’, and Marissa (bourbonandgoose.com) suggested some hot pepper jelly, and without even skipping a beat, Sarah (verysarie.com) had whipped up a little reduction of the stuff and I’m telling you: IT WAS AWESOME.
(Makes about 5 or 6 servings…or one serving, it can just be one serving. No judgement.)
-2 cups halved green cherry tomatoes
-1/2 cup cornmeal
-1/2 cup flour
-1 teaspoon garlic powder
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
-Black pepper to taste
-1 cup buttermilk
-approx. half cup vegetable oil
-1/2 cup hot pepper jelly
-1/4 cup water
Combine all dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Pour buttermilk into a separate bowl.
Put a portion of vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium heat and begin heating the oil.
Place a couple of handfuls of tomato halves in the buttermilk. Using a slotted spoon, scoop them out, letting excess buttermilk drip into bowl, and transfer them to the dry ingredients bowl. Using your fingers, cover them liberally in flour mixture. Drop coated tomatoes carefully into the hot oil in the frying pan (I did about half of the overall cherry tomatoes at one time). Cook the tomatoes in the oil by flipping them from time to time and chasing them around the pan a bit until the tomatoes are good and tender. Remove from pan and let drain on a paper towel. Repeat with second half of tomatoes.
In a small saucepan, combine pepper jelly and water over high heat, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
To serve, place tomatoes on plate, drizzle with jelly reduction, and serve with an optional slice of lemon to squeeze over the whole darned thing.
Also…they go great with a salad (this one’s arugula, apricots, golden raisins, goat cheese, and balsamic). Mix the tomatoes right in with that. Don’t be shy.