Up until this week, we’ve been enjoying a warm Fall season here in New England. Thanks to the mild weather, our backyard garden tomato plants are still producing a few last stragglers.
But with our first week of frosty nights in the weather forecast for this week, we’ve picked the last green tomatoes – and we hate to see them go to waste! So our crispy, crunchy Fried Green Tomatoes with a delicious dipping sauce are on the menu.
Fried Green Tomatoes can be made any time you have un-ripened, green tomatoes on hand, but traditionally, this recipe was created as a way to use up those end-of-season green tomatoes.
Today, fried green tomato recipes are most often associated with Southern cooking in the United States, but according to this article from Smithsonian.com, fried green tomatoes “…entered the American culinary scene in the Northeast and Midwest, perhaps with a link to Jewish immigrants, and from there moved onto the menu of the home-economics school of cooking teachers who flourished in the United States in the early-to-mid 20th century.”
Our own end-of-season green garden tomatoes were quite small in size – but that makes these Fried Green Tomatoes perfectly suited to be served as an appetizer along with a zesty, creamy dip. The tomatoes are dipped in seasoned flour, then buttermilk and egg, and finally a coating of cornmeal and breadcrumbs that give the green tomatoes a delicious crunchy coating as they fry. The green tomatoes are tender inside and slightly tart – and that flavor against the crunch of the fried cornmeal coating is a fantastic pairing.
To finish things off, we serve our Fried Green Tomatoes with a creamy dip mixed with tomato paste, scallions, red bell pepper, plus lots of seasonings. Enjoy!
- 1½ to 2 pounds green tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon dry thyme
- 2 whole eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- ½ cup fine corn meal
- ½ cup coarse corn meal
- ½ cup seasoned bread crumbs
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Sliced scallion tops for garnish
- ¾ cup mayonnaise
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon fresh garlic, finely minced
- 2 tablespoons scallions, chopped fine (tops and bottoms)
- 2 tablespoon red bell pepper, finely minced
- Core and slice the tomatoes horizontally into ¼ inch slices. Lay out on a sheet pan covered with paper towels. Sprinkle the teaspoon of salt over both sides and let tomatoes sit for 30 minutes, turning once.
- Prepare three medium bowls. Place flour, salt, pepper, garlic and thyme in one, eggs and buttermilk whipped into the second bowl, and both types of cornmeal and bread crumbs into the third bowl.
- Place a cast iron skillet over a burner and fill half to three quarters full with the oil.
- Dice the scallion garnish and set aside.
- Mix all dip ingredients and set aside.
- Heat the oil to no more than 350 degrees F. Too hot and they will burn before cooking through. If the temperature drops to 325 F that is fine. Just keep it between 325 and 350 degrees F.
- Dredge the tomato slices first in the flour mixture, then the egg mixture then the corn meal mixture, patting the breading so it stays. Once you have all of them breaded, begin frying in 2-3 batches. They will sink then float. Once they float and turn golden, remove with a strainer or spider to paper towels to drain, about 3-5 minutes.
- Serve hot with the dipping sauce.
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