The Greenbrier Classic is a big deal in these here parts. West Virginia doesn’t find itself in the national spotlight much, and a lot of time when it does, it isn’t for the right reason. So, a big-time PGA tournament with tv cameras and celebrities is so much more than a sporting event. It’s an opportunity to showcase our state, its natural beauty, and our very own historic luxury resort.
The Greenbrier does a fantastic job of this. Case in point: the fried green tomato sandwiches you can buy at the food tents scattered around the golf course during the tournament. These sandwiches are saying “Yeah, this is southern West Virginia. We eat fried green tomatoes around here. But this IS The Greenbrier, afterall. So we put goat cheese, arugula and panceta on them.”
Last year, the Hubs and I went to The Greenbrier Classic, and I had the best time. Considering I’m not even a “golf fan.” It was so much fun, and I was truly starstruck. Especially when I saw stuff like this.
Now that green tomatoes are coming back in season, I’m almost giddy. Is it me, or does it seem like the anticipation for something fresh and local is almost unbearable this time of year before you get that first fruit or vegetable of the season?
I picked up two Gritt’s Greenhouse hydroponic green tomatoes at the Capitol Market last week. Since we’ve been playing softball at least two nights a week, I’ve been in need of quick and light dinners that we can eat at 8 or 9 pm when we get home. I had arugula from my garden and some bacon in the fridge. I just didn’t have mayo or goat cheese. Cue sad music here… So, I improvised with some Laughing Cow chipotle cheese.
|Bright green fresh and local beauties|
The secret here is to brown the bacon first and then fry the tomatoes in the bacon grease. I had to add a little bit of canola oil. Also, I dredge them in milk then very lightly dredge them in cornmeal. I’ve tried flour, and I just miss the crunch of cornmeal. It’s a personal thing, I think. Also, the cornmeal adds a nice nutty flavor. I sprinkled some kosher salt, pepper and minced garlic into the cornmeal. As with frying anything, you have to just leave it alone once you put it in the skillet, which is so hard to do. Four minutes on each side should be good for medium heat. I like them golden brown with a slightly soft inside.
Of course, we ate all the tomatoes we made, even after we had our sandwiches. Throw in some simple fresh new potatoes from my father-in-law’s garden, and it was a delicious meal. The arugula adds something interresting that just wouldn’t be there if you used lettuce or even spinach. It’s a slight bite that sort of just melds with the tangy tomato. So delicious!
I have to say The Greenbrier does it better than me. But the way I see it, that just means I need more practice–which I’m totally up for.