Green Tomato And Pimento Cheese Biscuits

This recipe combines two Southern favorite flavors in one deliciously flaky biscuit. The tart, juicy green tomatoes provide a welcome counterpoint to the savory, salty cheese. Giving the tomatoes a brief turn in the oven first ensures that they'll end up well cooked and won't make the biscuits soggy with their juices.

Green Tomato And Pimento Cheese Biscuits i i
Deena Prichep for NPR
Green Tomato And Pimento Cheese Biscuits
Deena Prichep for NPR

Makes about 12 biscuits, depending on the size of cutter used

1 1/2 heaping cups green tomatoes, cut into a 1/2-inch dice

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)

Hefty pinch fresh-ground black pepper

Hefty pinch cayenne

1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 large egg

1 cup grated sharp cheddar, tossed with a few spoonfuls of all-purpose flour

4-ounce jar of pimientos (roasted red peppers), drained, or substitute 1/4 cup roasted red peppers cut into a 1/4-inch dice

2 tablespoons melted butter

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a sheet tray with parchment, spread out the green tomato cubes and bake until they dry out slightly and just begin to color, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool. Raise the oven temperature to 425 degrees.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, paprika, garlic powder (if using), pepper and cayenne. Using a food processor, pastry cutter, or your hands, cut the butter into the flour until it is reduced to oatmeal-sized bits. Beat together the buttermilk and egg, and then gently mix this into the flour-butter mixture until just barely combined. Add the cheddar, pimientos and cooked and cooled green tomatoes, and gently mix until combined. Place a fresh piece of parchment on the empty cooking sheet.

Turn the dough out onto a floured countertop, and press into a rectangle that's about 1 inch high. Fold the dough over on itself, like an envelope. Give it a 90-degree turn, and press out again to a 1-inch high rectangle (this builds in layers, to make it extra flakey.) Repeat the folding and pressing. Cut into biscuits with a 2- to 3-inch biscuit cutter, and place on the prepared baking sheets. The biscuits will rise significantly, so leave a couple of inches of space between them. Brush the tops of the biscuits with melted butter, then bake until lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes. They can be eaten warm or cold, but are especially delicious straight from the oven.

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