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*UPDATED*Tomatoes are the Talk of the Town—
and Get Local (Recipe Included)!

Green Tomatoes

A food that can taste sweet, sour, and savory all at the same time deserves being celebrated. That’s the tomato, a quintessential summer staple getting the well-deserved spotlight in our Get Local initiative during August.

There’s no shortage of opportunities to savor the mater this month—from Asheville to the High Country to north Georgia. Farmers’ tailgate market tables are overflowing with tomatoes now, Appalachian Grown partner retailers are stocking their shelves with as many maters as possible, and Appalachian Grown partner restaurants are featuring tomatoes on their menus in regular dishes and creative summer specials*. Here are a few highlights from the businesses Getting Local:

  • Like maters and mozz together? Head over to The Market Place in downtown Asheville, where owner and Executive Chef William Dissen is serving up a local heirloom tomato salad with hand-pulled mozzarella, charred shallots, basil, and an aged sherry vinaigrette.
  • At The Junction in Asheville, they’ve put their well-loved summer Smoked Tomato Soup back on the supper menu. Marinated local cherry tomatoes also play an integral part in their brunch “Belly BLT,” and they’re using local pickled fried green tomatoes as a base for their NC grilled shrimp sharing plate.
  • Neo Burrito’s Get Local special, available all of August at their Asheville locations, is a fresh Caprese burrito with local heirloom tomatoes, local basil, handmade mozzarella, maple balsamic dressing, orzo pasta, and thick-cut maple and black pepper local bacon. And it doesn’t stop there. The special comes with a side farro salad with local cherry tomatoes and housemade pesto plus cold watermelon gazpacho with local yellow tomatoes and cucumbers. The special runs $14.99 and also includes a fountain drink.
  • Colorful Palate Catering loves the month of maters. They’ve been inspired recently to create a Fresh Tomato Chicken Parmesan and Eggplant Parmesan; instead of using a traditional tomato sauce, they fry the chicken/eggplant and placed sliced heirloom tomatoes in between the fried pieces, topping everything with fresh mozzarella. Check out their Facebook page for more of what they’re creating.
  • As soon as the calendar turned to August, Boone’s Come Back Shack started using local tomatoes in all of their sandwiches and salads. They plan to keep it that way as long as tomatoes are in season.
  • Pasta Wench uses local tomatoes in their gourmet fettuccine and frozen ravioli. A favorite use? In the tomato dough that wraps their raviolis like Goat Cheese Sun Dried Tomato. You can pick up their pastas any Saturday at Watauga County Farmers Market in Boone or at many locations throughout WNC.
  • Talia Espresso in North Wilkesboro is currently using local and organic little Sweeties, Romas, and Zebras in sandwiches, salads like their Caprese, gazpacho, and fresh salsa/pico de gallo.
  • At The 1861 Farmhouse Restaurant and Winery in Sugar Grove, they want you to enjoy local tomatoes first thing. So, they’ve created a Fried Green Tomato Stack appetizer. Just what is the stack? It’s layers of fried green tomatoes, local goat cheese, and ripe heirloom tomato slices all topped with fresh basil, ramp pesto, a balsamic glaze, and local microgreens.

  • The produce department at Hendersonville Community Co-op is currently stocking tomatoes from Windy Ridge Farms and Mountain Valley Organics. Plus, their deli is using the local gems in their pico de gallo, succotash salad, and daily lunch specials.
  • In Clayton, GA, the Beechwood Inn loves whipping up their famous Heirloom Tomato Tart.

*Specials subject to change.

Visit our online Local Food Guide to browse more Appalachian Grown partner restaurants and groceries serving and selling local tomatoes now, as well as Appalachian Grown certified farms growing tomatoes this year.

Grilled Green Tomatoes with Herb Sauce (a favorite of Ivy Creek Family Farm)

Ingredients

  • 3 green tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • For sauce:
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup of your favorite fresh herb
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • OR, use your favorite pesto

Instructions

  1. Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high; clean and lightly oil hot grill.
  2. In a food processor, combine mayonnaise, basil, garlic, and lemon juice, and process until basil is finely chopped and sauce is smooth (add 1 to 2 teaspoons water if needed).
  3. Cut green tomatoes into 1/2-inch thick slices, brush with vegetable oil, and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Grill until lightly charred and softened, 2 to 3 minutes per side.
  5. Transfer to a platter and spoon sauce over top, or spoon on your favorite store-bought or homemade pesto.
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