For me, there is no better sign of a good Summer than tomato bushes bent under the weight of their fruit or strung high and tight, but groaning for relief due to the load on their branches. I love this for several reasons. I know if I have that many tomatoes, most of them will turn a beautiful, juicy, red and I can therefore get away with taking a bunch before they are ripened and make one of my favorites…..Fried Green Tomatoes!!
Fried Green Tomatoes are a little tangy and tender in the middle and slightly salty and crunchy on the outside!
I have a friend who watched the movie, Fried Green Tomatoes and had no idea they were an actual, real food! In the movie, Jessica Tandy’s character ran the Whistle Stop Cafe and fried up nice, thick slices of green tomatoes in bacon fat until they were crunchy and delicious. My friend was shocked! She thought Fried Green Tomatoes was an analogy for something else. I have no idea why she thought that, but clearly she had never eaten one.
Fried Green Tomatoes are very real and considered Southern fare at this junction in our history, but the story has it, it originated in the Northwest. Due to their short growing season, they were often left with quite a large bounty of green tomatoes the sun was unable ripen before the weather turned cold and the frost set in. So, in order to prevent waste, they did what any good cook would do. They sliced, breaded and threw those green maters’ into the fryer!!
Fried Green Tomatoes are perfect on their own for snack or as a side dish for a heartier meal.
To make Fried Green Tomatoes, you only need green tomatoes and basic pantry ingredients. You will want to pick out tomatoes that are firm and green, a little yellow is fine, but if they are starting to look like they are blushing, they may be a bit too ripe and you risk a mushy interior after frying.
There are several schools of thought about the dredge you use to coat the tomatoes. Some like a straight all-purpose flour mixture. I prefer to first dunk my tomato slices into all purpose flour, then into buttermilk mixed with egg. The first dip into plain flour is to give the buttermilk/egg mixture something to hang onto. After the dip into buttermilk/egg, I send them for a dive into a corn meal and all-purpose flour mixture. The corn meal provides an extra crunchy texture.
There is an art to breading things without having two hands coated in batter. You will want to designate one hand as the dry ingredients hand and the other as the wet ingredients hand. You can also use a fork or tongs to handle the tomatoes. Slice your tomatoes, batter, then place tomatoes on a rack where they can wait their turn in the hot oil.
I like to use a cast iron skillet because it heats evenly and retains its heat very well. You will want to heat your oil over med-high heat. You will know it is ready if you drop a dash of the flour into the oil and it sizzles or bubbles rapidly. Depending on the size of your skillet, place 4-6 breaded tomato slices into the hot oil.
Don’t overcrowd the pan or it will cause the oil temperature to drop and your tomatoes will become overly greasy. You are going to fry these approximately 5 minutes per side or until golden brown. Once browned, remove from the skillet and place on a rack to drain or a paper towel lined plate. I often use a leftover brown, paper bag for this instead, then sprinkle with salt and continue frying the remaining tomatoes.
Fried Green Tomatoes
- 4 med green tomatoes
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, divided in half
- 1/2 cup corn meal
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black, pepper
- oil for frying
- flaky salt to garnish cooked tomatoes
- Wash and slice the tomatoes tomatoes approximately 1/4 inch thick.
- Whisk egg into buttermilk mixture, set aside
- Mix corn meal with 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour, set aside
- While oil is heating, coat tomato slices in the other 1/4 cup of plain flour, then into buttermilk egg mixture and then into the flour/corn meal mixture and place onto a rack while they wait to be fried.
- When the oil is hot, gently place 5-6 coated tomatoes into the oil and fry approximately 5 minutes each side or until golden brown. When tomatoes are done cooking, remove them from the hot oil and place on a paper towel line plate or paper bag to drain. Immediately sprinkle with flakey salt. Enjoy!!
I like to serve my Fried Green Tomatoes with a Sriracha Ranch Dressing dip. There are many variations of sauces in which to dip the hot tomatoes, but this is my favorite because it is so quick and easy to make and has the wonderful Ranch flavor and kick of heat from the Sriracha. I just add about 1 cup of Original Ranch Dressing and 1 tablespoon of Sriracha Sauce, mix well and there ya go!! I hope you give these a try and let me now what you think. Enjoy Friends!
I love a crunchy Fried Green Tomato. Do you have a favorite coating you like to dredge your tomatoes in before frying?