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Five Ways to Cook Green Tomatoes (Other Than Frying Them)

Whenever you buy green tomatoes, you're most likely going to fry them. Am I right? And that's definitely not a bad thing, but you can do so much more with the beautiful under-ripe fruits. Green tomatoes are certainly available in grocery stores and farmers markets, even at the beginning of the summer, but as the summer progresses, your selection will increase.

After you make your batch of green tomatoes coated in cornmeal and fried in oil(you have to make them at least once this summer), take a whack at these five recipes.

Green Tomato Salsa Texans love salsa. Switch things up and make a salsa verde for your chips with sour tomatoes rather than the fully-ripe variety. Throw in bold ingredients like lime, red onion, jalapeño and cumin to make a spicy, tangy salsa. Maintain the texture by not pureeing the ingredients. Serve it with chips, or spoon it over grilled chicken.

Green Tomato Eggs Benedict If you like the sourness from the lemon juice in Hollandaise sauce, then you'll love the addition of sliced green tomatoes in your Eggs Benedict. Simply make the classic brunch dish normally, and either sear two green tomato slices in a little butter and olive oil, or make fried green tomatoes (no one said Eggs Benedict had to be healthy). Place the seared slices of Canadian bacon on top of the toasted English muffin halves, followed by the green tomato, poached eggs and Hollandaise sauce. It's sour, savory and oh so good.

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Green Tomato Cake It's a little confusing, but remember, green tomatoes are fruit, so baking them into a dessert is perfectly acceptable. Paula Deen's recipe for a green tomato cake topped with browned butter icing creates a surprisingly sweet and tart treat. She combines butter, sugar and eggs with flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, diced green tomatoes, golden raisins and walnuts, then bakes it all in a bundt pan. Add more sweetness by pouring a smooth browned butter icing on top. Each bite is sticky, sweet and will take everyone by surprise.

Baked "Fried" Green Tomatoes You have such a light and wonderful fruit, so there's no need to always add a bunch of calories by frying it in oil; just bake the slices instead. Maintain that crunch by lightly coating the sliced green tomatoes in an egg white and low-fat buttermilk mixture (or add low-fat yogurt for a thicker coating), then dip in Panko bread crumbs seasoned with salt, pepper and Louisiana fish fry to your liking. Place the prepared tomatoes on a cooking sheet lined with aluminum foil coated in a drizzle of oil, then bake until golden brown on both sides (cook on each side for 10 minutes).

Grilled Caprese Salad Typical Caprese salad is composed of sliced red tomatoes and Mozzarella cheese. But, you can certainly use the under ripe fruit as a substitute. Try this recipe from Southern Living, where green tomato slices are marinated in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, brown sugar and salt, then grilled. Once the fruits are charred, they are placed on a platter with slices of Mozzarella cheese and topped with more of the marinade (or simply olive oil and balsamic vinegar) plus basil.

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