Today, on my way back from the University District Farmers Market, I visited a friend and saw her tomatoes in various shades of colors on her windowsill. Then I remembered that I wanted to share this recipe with you.
When I see green tomatoes, I think of my family’s visit to Inle Lake, Myanmar in June 2008. Our two-hour boat ride was enchanting, and we saw a fisherman using his foot to row his canoe. At the shallow edge of the lake were floating gardens with rows and rows of tomato plants. We had a chance to see the hydroponic farms and miles of tomatoes growing on floating gardens.
When we stopped for lunch and a cooking class at the View Point Restaurant, the chef surprised us with a green tomato salad along with many famous Shan State dishes. The menu reflected the local abundance of tomatoes from local farming, as Inle lake is the largest source of tomatoes and vegetables in Myanmar.
If you are planning to visit Myanmar anytime soon, please do make sure that the View Point Restaurant & Cooking School is in your itinerary. I love the people who work there, and the views of rice fields, the river, and the bridge—a great place to observe locals going about their daily lives.
I had never eaten green tomatoes before but I am familiar with the concepts of fried green tomatoes, pickled green tomatoes, and green tomato relish. So what else can you do with green tomatoes? Inle Lake Green Tomato Salad is an answer here.
Before cooking and eating green tomatoes, this is what you should know.
Thisis an excerpt about Tomatoes & Health that I copied from About.com:.“Although green tomatoes are wonderful when cooked or pickled, they should be avoided in large amounts when raw. Green tomatoes contain large amounts of tomatine, a toxin in the same alkaloid family as solanine which may be found in green potatoes, another member of the nightshade family. ”
I ate a few pieces of green tomato slices and felt fine but didn’t like the taste; it was too tart and bitter. My friend Deb had mentioned that green tomatoes shouldn’t be eaten fresh, so I decided to bake the green tomato slices for 15 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. The cooked tomatoes tasted great, but the color was dark green. I bake my green tomatoes or simply use firm ripe tomatoes instead.
This green tomato salad is very simple to make. You start by making Lemongrass Vinegar. I would recommend making a lot of it and storing it in the refrigerator. It can be added to any recipe that calls for vinegar.
Inle LakeGreen Tomato Salad
Yum Makruatad Keow4 large green or ripe tomatoes, sliced 1 shallot, peeled and minced 1 tablespoon chopped peanuts, dry roasted and unsalted peanut 1 tablespoon fried minced garlic plus 1 teaspoon garlic oil ( this the oil that the garlic was fried in) 1 to 2 tablespoons lemongrass vinegar 1 teaspoon toasted dark or light sesame oil ½ teaspoon black sesame seeds Salt to taste
Place green tomato slices on a large platter.
To make salad dressing, combine the shallot, peanuts, fried garlic, garlic oil, lemongrass vinegar, and sesame oil in a small bowl and whisk until combined. Pour over green tomatoes and garnish with black sesame seeds.
© 2010 Pranee Khruasanit HalvorsenI Love Thai cooking Pranee teaches Thai Cooking classes in the Seattle area. Her website is: I Love Thai cooking.com .