A favorite of my Mama’s, this fresh-vegetable side dish can be made all year long since green tomatoes taste good year-round.  Sometimes in the winter when I’m going to make this recipe, I’ll buy several extra green tomatoes.  I leave them on a plate on the counter in the kitchen to naturally ripen while turning red.  I think they ultimately have a better flavor than winter ripened tomatoes sold at the market.






Cooking Tip:

Cracker crumbs: place crackers to be used into a large zipper-topped plastic bag.  Carefully seal the zipper-top, while squeezing the air out of the bag.  The bag should then be flat.  Roll the crackers in the bag with a rolling pen to crush the crackers to the desired size of crumbs wanted.

GREEN TOMATO BAKE

5 large green tomatoes, unpeeled and sliced thin (reserve 2 or 3 pretty slices for garnish)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup stick-type butter or margarine, sliced thin
2 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese
Ritz-type crackers, crushed
Paprika

Prepare a 9” X 13”-inch casserole with spray-oil.  Make layers of ½ of the green tomatoes; then salt  and pepper the tomatoes.  Place ½ of the butter or margarine slices on tomatoes; sprinkle with ½ of the cheese and ½ of the cracker crumbs.  Repeat layers.  Place the reserved tomato slices on top of crumbs.  Sprinkle the cracker crumbs and tomato garnish slices liberally with paprika to give the cracker crumb topping some extra color.  Cover the casserole with aluminum foil, crimping the edges to seal; and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  Remove the foil and check for browning.  If casserole top is not lightly browned, then return casserole to oven to cook uncovered until top crumbs are lightly browned.  Serves 8.

I promised a “Mamaism” occasionally.  This one is totally “off-the-wall” since it has nothing to do with a green tomato recipe.  Just thought I’d throw it in for entertainment value.  I haven’t the faintest idea what it means, nor where my mother heard it, but here it is,  “Don’t go near where the Moonvine whineth and the Whang-Doodle moanth!”   Sounds scary to me, how about you?

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