This is what I had for lunch today. And there's no way a picture can do it justice (even if it was a good picture). It's just one of those things that tastes so much better than it looks. These were tomatoes fresh from the garden, mostly green but just barely starting to get a little color. These were the big yellow heirloom tomatoes, so the color they were starting to get was just a touch of yellow. I looked around at fried green tomato recipes, and they all seem to have milk or buttermilk, and flour. And I can't really figure out why any of that is necessary - maybe with ordinary tomatoes it is. I love the crunch of the cornmeal, and I didn't want to add flour to that. And the tomatoes are so juicy that dipping them in something wet doesn't seem to make any sense. All I did here was slice, and dip in cornmeal that had been seasoned with a little salt, garlic powder and onion powder. I think one important part of what made these so good was the quality of the corn meal. I use Bob's Red Mill Organic Cornmeal, Medium. This is cornmeal that actually tastes like corn, and it has some texture to it. Then I fried them in a little olive oil until golden, and I ate them with just a few drops of Tabasco. Even I was surprised at how good these were - sweet and tangy and crunchy and buttery. I ate three whole tomatoes. yes - three. I cooked two, and loved it so much that I went back and did another tomato.
I have had sooo much squash from the garden this summer - all from three plants! And while I do love it, one gets a little tired of eating it in the same few ways over and over again (like this lunch I had the other day, or this zucchini bread & muffins). And we've got a lot more yellow summer squash than regular green zucchini anyway. I have a couple of favorite dip recipes (this one, and this one) that involve mixing cooked veggies with some yummy stuff - so I thought this might also be possible for squash. I did a little internet searching and came across this one - it sounded great! Squash with cumin, tahini, lemon juice, garlic and yogurt. Who doesn't love those things?
So here is what I did:
- A couple of large summer squashes - I think any kind would work. I've used a large yellow summer squash (the kind that looks like zucchini but are yellow), and the round pattypan squashes. Actually I bet this would even work with zucchini.
- Garlic powder
- onion powder
- olive oil
- kosher salt
- lemon juice
- plain yogurt
- fresh garlic
I tossed the cubed squash with olive oil and salt, garlic powder, and onion powder, and then roasted in the oven at 350 convection on a cookie sheet for about 40 minutes - turning several times, until the cubes were a little brown and very soft. Then I dumped that in the food processor and added the other ingredients. I used ground cumin, and I used my own homemade whole milk yogurt. And of course there's the fact that I never measure anything, so I didn't follow the quantities in the recipe, I just throw stuff in and blend and taste and keep adding and blending until I like it. I'm sure it ended up being more garlic and lemon juice and cumin than the original recipe calls for, because that's just how I like stuff. And I did it in my food processor - because I have 4 kids and a mortar and pestle, or smushing things with forks, just isn't really going to happen. Plus, I really like the creamy texture that the food processor gives it.
This was good. Really, really good. I will definitely be making it again.
I might try it without the yogurt next time, just to see how it is as a vegan option. I think maybe adding a little more lemon juice to replace the tanginess of the yogurt.
Update: I made the squash dip again with no yogurt - so a vegan version. I just used a little more of the other ingredients to bump up the flavor a bit, and it is also really, really good this way.