Saturday, June 30, 2007

Fried Green Tomatoes

It almost seems silly to post a recipe for fried green tomatoes - they are so simple to make, anyone could probably come up with a reasonable version toying around in the kitchen for a short while. I will, however, post this recipe as a nudge to those who have not yet attempted this delicious snack (and perfect weekend lunch). Additionally, here in MyTown, green tomatoes seem more plentiful than locally-grown red ones (though I did manage to find some beauties) at our farmer's markets, so it's a practical recipe as well.

I have fond memories of my own fried green tomato discovery.

In college, I lived downstairs from a friend who, each Sunday, cooked up a mess of Soul Food. W would make chicken, greens, macaroni and cheese, cornbread, and potatoes as a matter of course each week. I was lucky enough to hang around and peek at the food all day long, before eating at dinnertime.

Having picked up a bunch of green tomatoes at the farmers' market, I decided to try my hand at the Southern treat. I brought the tomatoes up to W's apartment, and she passed along her recipe. Usually, W fried her tomatoes in bacon fat, and though mine are a little lighter, they make me smile and think of her.

Fried Green Tomatoes
2 medium green tomatoes, sliced (about 1/2-inch slices)
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup medium-to-fine grind cornmeal
Fresh ground black pepper
Red pepper flakes
Cooking spray or olive oil

Mix cornmeal and seasonings to taste in a large shallow bowl or plate. Heat a skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Spray with cooking spray or coat with olive oil. Dip each tomato slice in beaten egg on both sides. Dredge in cornmeal mixture, and place in skillet. Flip tomatoes when cornmeal is slightly browned and crisped.

A plateful of these beauties makes a perfect lunch, with a handful of seasonal fruit and a dollop of yogurt or sour cream.


Jessie Mae said...

That sounds so good. I'm going to have to pick up some tomatoes at Tuesday's farmer's market.

Pat said...

Ohhhhhhhhhh I love them!!! Thanks for posting a reminder!!!

wellunderstood said...

i had another batch for lunch today. just couldn't stay away!

Great Big Veg Challenge said...

These sound great - are green tomatoes just unripe red tomatoes or are they a different heirloom tomato?
Excuse my ignorance...

wellunderstood said...

no ignorance, a good question! while there are heirloom varieties that are green, these are best made with unripe tomatoes. Ripe tomatoes are too mushy and wet, these unripe slices are a little tougher and will hold up to the heat without losing their structural integrity. additionally, their pleasantly sour "unripe" taste is part of their charm.

Nora B. said...

I've actually never tried fried green tomatoes. What do they taste like? Your recipe sounds like I wouldn't have to fry them in too much oil, so that suits me better than the deep fried versions. Thanks!

wellunderstood said...

hm . . . i'm trying to think of how to describe their flavor . . . the tomato is sour and firm, and the crust is salty and spicy. it's really a great combination, though i'm having trouble finding a good point of comparison. the best way to find out is to give them a taste! i also am not into too much oil, which is why i adapted this "light" version of the real thing. mine are really lightly pan-fried, like a grilled cheese.

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