For some reason, all of my plants have been very late to come to fruit this year. I don't know if it has been the heat, but it's just been within the past week or two that my tomatoes have ripened - and only the San Marzanos have turned red. On the other side of the house I planted heirloom tomatoes from The Wife's grandmother's garden, from plants that she's been harvesting and planting for decades.
They've been getting bigger and bigger, but not turning red. I haven't given up on them yet, as the plant has gotten ridiculously large - almost 5 feet tall, and just about as wide. I now have three stakes holing vines up. What makes it worse, is i don't know if they will turn -- or if they're a green heirloom variety - time will tell.After a day at some Charlottesville wineries Sunday, we had friends back to the house to grill steaks and sample the days finds. We needed another side to accompany dinner. My thoughts immediately went to those heirloom tomatoes that had been taunting me for the better part of a week, getting bigger but not redder.
Finally, I did what any southerner would do. Enough was enough. I had waited the entire summer, watching my tomato plants flower and not produce. Now that they had, I was ready for a taste. I found a flashlight and plucked three of the bigger ones. It had been well worth the wait. These were still firm, a little tart and meaty. I hope the fruits on the plant eventually turn to other exciting colors, but if not I won't be disappointed.
The late great southern word-smith Lewis Grizzard once wrote that "Its difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato" I would add especially the fried green variety.
Panko Bread Crumbs
Salt, Pepper, Cayenne to taste
Oil for frying
Preheat oil to 350 degrees.
Crack the eggs into a dish and add a splash of water. Whisk to make an "egg wash"
Put bread crumbs into a dish and season with salt, pepper and cayenne if you like a little spice.
Slice your tomatoes into 1/2 inch slices and dip into the egg wash, then into the bread crumbs and drop into the fryer until they turn golden brown.
Add a pinch of salt to the fresh-out-of-the-grease-maters and enjoy.
You can also do this in a pan if yours is a deep fryer-less household.