Bug Recipe Contest Winner!
Congratulations to the BugWeek@UF 2013 recipe contest winner: David George Gordon, a Seattle-based author and lecturer who’s better known as The Bug Chef. His winning entry reminds us of the old folk wisdom, “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Except that we’re talking about tomato hornworms.
By the way, you can see more fantastic bug recipes at his website.
If you have tomatoes growing in your garden you probably suffer from a common pest, the tomato hornworm, a caterpillar that grows up to be a large, colorful moth.
You can read more about this Bad Bug in this UF/IFAS Featured Creatures document.
Show the hornworms who’s boss by employing a fun and tasty form of pest management, entomophagy. That’s a fancy word that means “the practice of eating insects.”
If you don’t have access to wild tomato hornworms (or if you do and you’re concerned about their fitness for consumption) there are online merchants who sell live hornworms.
Also, before cooking the hornworms you’ll need to euthanize them. This can be done easily by putting the hornworms in a sealed container and then storing it in the freezer for at least 48 hours.
Now that you’re set to go, here’s the winning recipe…
Fried Green Tomato Hornworms
Yield: 4 servings
3 tablespoons olive oil
16 tomato hornworms, frozen and thawed
4 medium green tomatoes, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
Salt and pepper to taste
8 to 12 small basil leaves
1. In a large skillet or wok, heat the oil. Then lightly fry the hornworms, about 4 minutes, taking care not to rupture the cuticles of each insect under high heat. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
2. Season tomato rounds with salt and pepper, then coat with cornmeal on both sides.
3. In a second large skillet, fry tomatoes until lightly browned on both sides
4. Top each round with 2 fried tomato hornworms.
5. Garnish the paired hornworms with basil leaves.
Bug appetit! We’ll be sending Mr. Gordon a BugWeek@UF prize package for his efforts.
Want to read more bug recipes? Do you have one to share? Let us know!