Thursday, August 16, 2012

Green Tomato Casserole

Green tomatoes, seasoned with a pinch of sugar, salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning, garlic powder and lemon pepper, topped with onion, cheese, crushed Ritz crackers and butter and baked.
Green tomatoes, seasoned with a pinch of sugar, salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning, garlic powder and lemon pepper, topped with onion, cheese, crushed Ritz crackers and butter and baked.

Green Tomato Casserole

It's still Hotter than Hot down here in the Deep South, but if you love green tomatoes and you're willing to crank down the air conditioner and use your oven, this casserole is very much worth it.

I know it's getting late in the green tomato season for some of us, but finding a green tomato in a grocery store around here anytime is a rarity really. Grocery stores buy the bulk of their produce en masse from all over the country, rather than promoting much locally. It's sad but true. You can find green tomatoes early in the season at some places, like Jerry Lee's over in Gautier. How can you not love a grocery store named Jerry Lee's, I mean c'mon?

If you don't have some green tomatoes that you are willing to pluck out of your own garden, they can still be found at roadside stands or farmer's markets right now. But hurry. They will soon be gone.

Hommie Holly, one of family members over on the Facebook page, shared her recipe for green tomato casserole back in 2010 and I finally got around to making it. It's basically a gratin made with green tomatoes, but as you see, I just about procrastinated long enough that my green tomatoes were beginning to ripen on me, so I figured I'd better bump this dish up and get it made. I think they still qualify though! Truth is, I'm pretty sure this dish would be equally great using red tomatoes too.

It's really made similar to a gratin, but in the south we call things like this a casserole. I decided to layer the tomatoes, onions, seasonings and cheese, and then bumped up the heat a bit with my beloved Slap Ya Mama and by mixing some pepper jack cheese with the cheddar. Since green tomatoes can tend to be on the tart side, I sprinkled just a bit of sugar over them too. Personally, I like a little sugar with most recipes containing fresh tomatoes.

The result was absolutely delicious and will be a new summertime favorite at my house, so be sure to save it to your recipe box so you'll have it for next year too! You can find Hommie's original recipe in the Notes over on the Facebook page. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe Hommie - it was marvelous.

Here's how to make.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Butter a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish. Slice one layer of tomatoes into the bottom of the casserole dish. Season with half of the sugar, salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning, garlic powder and lemon pepper.

Top with half of the chopped onion.

Top with half of the cheese and repeat another layer with the remaining tomatoes, seasonings, onions and cheese.

Crush a sleeve of Ritz crackers, or regular saltines on top.

Top with melted butter. The recipe calls for a full stick but feel free to adjust to your own liking.

Cover and bake at 400 degrees F for 45 minutes, remove cover and return to the oven until the top is nicely browned, about 15 minutes longer.

If you're a fan of green tomatoes, I think you will love this dish. Get it in while you can!

For more of my favorite summer recipes, visit my page on Pinterest!

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Posted by on August 16, 2012
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