Potato Chips? How about Tomato Chips?
Green Tomatoes are Doing Their Own Thing
If you’re too impatient for ripe red tomatoes, that’s just fine with us, because green tomatoes have unique potential all their own. So, rather than looking at them as unripe and unready for harvest, CVI Chef Jamie Simpson says you should consider green tomatoes as a completely unique fruit altogether.
“It’s a whole different ingredient,” he said, “like how green peppers are different from red peppers.”
Texture and flavor profile are the distinguishing characteristics that differentiate green tomatoes from their red counterparts. Drier, more acidic and bitter, they are also more durable for applications such as frying and pickling. For making his delicate green tomato chips, Chef Jamie applies multiple techniques to a single green heirloom tomato, creating two full trays of crispy, delicate chips to top a summer tomato salad.
The first key is shaving the tomato paper thin, translucent enough for light to pass through the flesh like pale green stained glass. After a quick pickle with apple cider vinegar, the slices are ready to be dried in the oven until they resemble little wagon wheels. Dehydrated, yet pliable, the slices are fried in oil until crispy, then perfectly seasoned.
TCG: Why are green tomatoes better for this recipe?
JS: They have less moisture, so they are easier to slice super thin, and easier to dehydrate.
TC: You sliced them on a legit deli-meat slicer. Isn’t that a little extra?
JS: It’s the best way to get them thin enough.
TCG: How are green tomatoes better for this from a flavor standpoint?
JS: They have less sugar, so they add a different flavor. They’re more vegetal than fruity.
TCG: You rejected a tomato that was a little pink inside. Why?
JS: It’s already developed too much sugar.