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Winner of Our Green Tomato Recipe Contest

By Robin Mather

Tags: tomatoes, recipes, green tomato, Robin Mather,

Shelley Giangaspero of Ohio was the clear winner in MOTHER EARTH NEWS’ Green Tomato Recipe Contest. Her “Green Tomato Tart,” a savory tart with goat cheese and spinach, thrilled the judges — the editors of the magazine.

“I can actually taste the green tomatoes in this,” said one judge. “I will repeat this one, even if I might have to substitute something for the (out-of-season) green tomatoes,” said another, who prepared the dish for the judging. “I love all of the ingredients together, and I like that it is a pie — with a good crust,” said still another judge. “It’s a beautiful dish. The flavors and the colors combine to make it a pretty and tasty brunch dish,” said a fourth.

Judges also praised Terrye Peterson’s Green Tomato and Bacon Jam (“Great texture, versatile, paired well with cheese”) and Jackie Hardin’s Green Tomato Cake With Apple Cider Glaze (“This was delicious and well worth preparing at home. Verrry sweet and nicely spiced.”)

All the recipes entered will be published online in the future.

Judges reviewed more than 50 entries and selected 8 finalists, based on originality, best use of green tomatoes and ease of preparation. These entries were prepared in home kitchens exactly as the recipes indicated. The magazine’s staff of 10 editors tasted all of the finalists and rated the dishes from 1 to 10 (10 high). None of the finalists scored below a 5.

Giangaspero won a  Roma tomato strainer for making tomato sauce and paste, applesauce, jams, baby food and more, as well as a Dustin Mizer duster to help control tomato pests, from Tomato Growers Supply Company.

Giangaspero’s recipe is below. We hope you’ll try it — or file it away for next year, when green tomatoes are back in season.

Green Tomato Tart

Recipe developed by Shelley Giangaspero, Ohio. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

3 cups flour
1/2 pound chilled salted butter
1/2 cup ice cold water
1 egg

1 Tbsp olive oil
4 medium green tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
10 ounces chopped spinach
1 red pepper, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
2 eggs
3 ounces herbed goat cheese, crumbled
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

For the dough: Combine dry ingredients in a food processor. Add butter and pulse a few times until the butter is the size of small marbles. Add eggs and pulse a few times. Add water and blend. As soon as it forms a ball, stop mixing. Wrap the dough ball in plastic wrap and shape into a disc. Place in the refrigerator while making the filling.

For the filling: Place 1 Tbsp olive oil in a sauté pan and heat over medium-high. Add minced garlic, peppers and spinach and cook, stirring, until all the liquid is cooked out.

In a bowl, whisk the eggs until combined. Add heavy cream and whisk in salt and pepper.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Roll out to fit a 10-inch tart pan. Butter the tart pan and place the dough in it.

Layer the tomatoes in the bottom of the tart shell. Spread the spinach and pepper evenly on top of the tomatoes.

Pour the egg mixture over the green tomatoes, spinach and peppers. Sprinkle the goat cheese over all. Place in oven and cook 35 to 40 minutes or until set and browned. Serve warm.