Today’s recipe is another Green Tomato dish to add to our collection. Green tomatoes are generally available from Late Spring or Early Summer into Autumn, if you can find a green grocer who stocks them. This dish is a quick, spicy stir fry using just the tomatoes with onions and spices.
Celebrating tomatoes, we are making tomato salads each day this week. It is the middle of Autumn and the last of the best tomatoes are available – soon the less flavoursome winter tomatoes will be available. We have been making simple, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern salads, and some more unusual ones. Today we use cherry tomatoes with green papaya in a South East Asian style salad. I hope you enjoy it.
The salad incorporates the papaya with the tomatoes along with snake beans and shredded snow peas. The dressing is sweet and added texture is given with peanuts. I like to add some crispy fried onion too, the type you can buy from Asian and Middle Eastern shops. It adds a salty textural element.
Fattoush, as its simplest, is another tomato and bread salad – a common combination around the globe. And as tomato and bread is a very very good basis for a salad; it is no wonder that it is popular.
But mention Fattoush to anyone from the Middle East to Israel, and you are likely to find yourself in a discussion (argument?) about the composition of the salad. Is sumac essential? Should other spices be included? Is garlic necessary? Is the bread to be toasted? Or fried? What is the dressing made of? What herbs are included? How big should the pita pieces be?
It is one of THOSE salads, loved and protected by all who eat it regularly. It is a type of chopped salad with tomatoes and includes pita. A salad that is best when all ingredients are the freshest and best quality available.
Arab salad, chopped salad, Israeli salad – whatever you choose to call it. Wherever you go in the city, at any time of the day, a Jerusalemite is most likely to have a plate of freshly chopped vegetables – tomato, cucumber and onion, dressed with olive oil and lemon juice – served next to whatever else they are having. Friends visiting us in London always complain of feeling they ate ‘unhealthily’ because there wasn’t a fresh salad served with every meal.
Ottolenghi and Tamimi, in their book Jerusalem, have a recipe that comes from Sammi’s mother. Sami can’t recall anyone else in the neighbourhood making it. this way She called it fattoush, as it includes chopped vegetables and bread. She soaks the untoasted or fried bread in a kind of home-made buttermilk, which makes it terribly comforting. It is a gorgeous salad and the home made buttermilk dressing is wonderful. It does make it quite different to other versions of Fattoush.
Try to get small cucumbers for this as for any other fresh salad. If you need to use the larger, long cucumbers, perhaps remove the seeds before using, if you wish.
Summer purslane, a tangy succulent with fleshy leaves and something of the lamb’s lettuce about it, is commonly found in fattoush in its homelands, and is well worth adding for its lovely lemony flavour. I have included it as we have it growing.
It is Ottolenghi day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish all the latest posts of recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi books – currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. (This recipe is from Jerusalem.) Note that I often slightly massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry.
Browse all of our Tomato Salads, and all of our Israeli recipes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Jerusalem are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through Plenty More. Or explore our Mid Autumn dishes.
Eggplants are wondrous vegetables, and it is great to watch them grow in the garden. They have a special purple flower, then the globe forms, and it swells and grows until it is ready to be picked. You can never really fail with eggplant dishes, they are very special no matter whether you grill, roast, saute, simmer, steam or roast them.
Today we are taking burnt (charred) eggplants and combining them with yellow or green capsicums and red onion, to form a dish perfect for eating with flatbread as part of a mezze spread. It is an Ottolenghi dish from his first book, Ottolenghi.
In fact, it is Ottolenghi day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish all the latest posts of recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi books – currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.
This is a great Balinese Sambal based on tomatoes and shallots. It has been vegetarianised, using miso and seaweed flakes to add the salty sea taste to the sambal. This is not so unusual as miso, tofu and tempeh are made in Bali backyards. You can add other items to this sambal, such as diced eggplant, ginger, curry leaves, even watercress and nuts. This is the basic version, and it can be served with any meal e.g. white rice, nasi lemak (Balinese Coconut Rice), nasi minyak (Balinese ghee rice), thosai, roti chanai.
This recipe is one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2006. You can browse more of the Retro Recipes series, our vegetarian recipes from that first blog.
We know that we are slipping into Autumn when we begin to cook more rice dishes. Rice puddings and risotto begin to feature at the table, just as long sleeves and light jackets begin to feature in our wardrobe.
Risotto is so easy to make – about 10 mins max prep time, and 20 mins to cook. One pot, little action, just stirring stirring stirring. It is relaxing and meditative. Heaven. Autumn. The pace of life is slower this month.
Such a simple salad – tomatoes with a parsley dressing, or make it a basil dressing if you prefer. Salads are such an easy way to get a few extra healthy ingredients into your body to work their magic. Even a simple salad like this one is perfect for adding tomatoes, perhaps a few greens and anything else that you care to add, to your count of the number of fruit and veg you’ve consumed today.
It is easy to whip up a salad. With over 200 salads on this site as I write, and even more scheduled, I hope I have convinced you. Most of these are very, very easy – that’s my style. A few take a bit more forethought, but again they act as a hugely flavoursome way of adding more goodness to your body.
Are you after other Tomato Salads? Try Green Papaya, Snake Bean and Tomato Salad, Red Pepper and Tomato Salad with Crispy Flatbread, Chilli and Lime, Cherry Tomato with Soy Dressing, and Quick Tomato Salad with Mustardy Mayo.
Green tomatoes have a sturdiness that red tomatoes don’t have. This means that they will not collapse in dishes the way a red tomato will do, and so they can be used in Indian dishes as a vegetable rather than a sauce. We are so lucky that our Green Grocer stocks them, and they are plentiful in Summer and into Autumn.
In this dish, the tartness of the green tomatoes pairs well with the sweetness of the jaggery, and dal is added to the tadka for a crunchy textural element. The spices are freshly roasted to bring out their flavour. Pair the dish with rice or roti, or serve as an accompaniment to your dal-rice.
Adding a smoky flavour to vegetables and other foods – garlic, eggplant, tomatoes, beetroot, tofu etc – adds an additional flavour dimension to dishes. It is worth doing for a special occasion. Today’s recipe is a Greek-inspired dish. I have added the instructions for smoking the foods in the recipe, but if you are not inclined to go to this effort, chargrill your veg in your normal, favourite way.
Similar recipes include Smoky Aubergine with Tomatoes and Sweet Peppers, Smoky Aubergine and Asparagus Salad, Lebanese Roast Potatoes and Eggplants, Baked Eggplant and Zucchini with Chickpeas, and Roasted Aubergine with Garlic Sauce.
Rasams, the ubiquitous Tamil dish, have traditionally played the role of stimulating the appetite, aiding digestion and balancing the body’s health with the spices used Not a pre-cursor to meals as in the Western sense, Rasams are drank with the rest of the meal, tipped over rice and/or used to moisten drier curries.
As the Indian cuisine globalises, some less spicy rasams are becoming more popular. These dishes can be eaten Western style (as soup), or in the traditional Indian style (with rice). They are not the Indian Soups in the true sense, they still sit squarely under the Rasam category, but perhaps are a little less spicy.
This Rasam is peppery, rather than chilli-hot. It is strongly tomato-flavoured, and is definitely a wonderful dish. Enjoy it by the small bowlful as a soup, or as a gentle rasam in the traditional way.
This chutney is Indian in style and we make it in Summer when green tomatoes are available. We use home grown ones and our local green grocer also stocks them. Green tomatoes are tangy and have a beautiful crunch. In this dish, they are cooked down with green chillies before being blended with spices and some tamarind to form the chutney. It is generally made to be eaten on the day it is made, but leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. It is delicious with any Indian meal, or just with rice and a dollop of ghee.
Tostada is a Spanish word meaning toasted. In Mexico and other parts of Latin America, it is the name of various local dishes which are toasted or use a toasted ingredient as the main base of their preparation. It usually refers to a flat or bowl-shaped tortilla that’s toasted – it is perfect as a base for other foods.
Today’s tostada is topped with crunchy grilled green tomatoes, soft avocado and delicious black beans, topped with coriander leaves. It is a great snack or informal lunch and reasonably easy to prepare. We love to eat it sitting on the steps of the decking (with large napkins), folding the tortillas together and eating with our hands. Summer eating! We make this style of snack a lot, and the inspiration for this combo comes from Food52.
For me, tomatoes are at their very very best in Autumn This year (as I write), the summer has been cooler than normal (despite a few heat waves), so I am beginning the usual Autumn uses of tomatoes a little early. Do use them in all their shapes and forms at this time of year.
These are confit tomatoes, cooked slowly in beautiful olive oil which they tend to absorb while becoming wonderfully soft. You can do them on the stove top, but I find that the heat is better controlled in the oven. They need to cook slowly. As you can tell by the name, it is a French recipe.
These are even better if the tomatoes are straight from the garden. Serve them with baked dishes, or in a salad. They go wonderfully in risotto and with pasta1 Try them as a side dish with grilled polenta and a salad. Or on inch thick fresh bread with basil or tapenade, or simply in the middle of a large white plate to enjoy on their own.
I first made these in 2002, so long ago now, but they are a traditional part of autumn cooking for us. Use large tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, just adjust the cooking time accordingly. We consider this recipe as part of our Retro series – vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 2005 – 2006. Feel free to browse other recipes from our Retro Recipes series.
If you love confit recipes you will also like our dishes where food is cooked a la grecque.
Black Beans are so good and great in Summer as they add a little more substance for cooler days without feeling heavy and too wintery. If you haven’t used them before, they are a good stock item in your pantry. We are not keen on too many cans in our pantry, but black beans have joined the tomatoes, coconut milk and chickpeas (for emergencies).
Here we pair black beans with avocado and feta for a creamy salad that zings with lime juice.
We also add green tomatoes. What??, I hear you ask. Green tomatoes are a magnificent slightly sour and very crunchy ingredient ideal for salads, especially those with Mexican or South East Asian overtones. They are used extensively in parts of the world but not much in the English-speaking world. You may have seen the film Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe (or not), but the use of green tomatoes extends far beyond being crumbed and fried (as delicious as they are). Try them in Indian dishes too, as a replacement for, or along side, the usual souring agent in the dish (tamarind, lime or lemon juice, dried pomegranate seeds, kokum, golpar, sour grapes, verjuice, etc). There are parts of the world that use sour to great effect in their cuisines – Persia and India come to mind.
I hope you enjoy this salad, it is very very good.
All of our Black Bean recipes are here, our Green Tomato Recipes here, and our Avocado Recipes here. Salads are all here (there are a LOT), and Bittman Salads here. Or take some time to explore our easy Late Summer Recipes.
Is this a salad, salsa or relish? I am not sure, but this dish has to be made as it is delicious. There is something about green tomatoes that is addictive.
I am lucky that my green grocer has green tomatoes, and also we have some (not many this year) from our vegetable garden. Failing this, talk to your green grocer and see whether he can get some in for you.
The crunch of the tomatoes with the sweetness of the pineapple and the freshness of the herbs is so Summery! Think hot days, and picnics in the park. Perfect. It is also wonderful as an accompaniment in sandwiches and wraps.