Late autumn at the farmers market may mean the end of heirloom tomatoes and the beginning of winter squash. But, it also means lots and lots of green tomatoes that will never ripen. I can’t resist fried green tomatoes. Even though I grew up in the South, I never had a fried green tomato until I was in college. They weren’t something that my family made. Odd. Well, I tried them at the first chance I got, and they are fantastic. Very tangy and toothsome, with a crunchy exterior. I love to serve them with Vidalia onion marmalade. More good stuff there.
When choosing green tomatoes, get the greenest, firmest tomatoes you can. While even a yellow, half-ripe tomato will fry up nicely, the really green ones have the best texture and flavor. Allow one tomato per person when meal planning – you’ll just have to fry in batches and make a little more batter.
Fried Green Tomatoes
- 4 green tomatoes, sliced 1/4″ – 1/2″ thick.
- canola oil for frying
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 C flour
- 1 egg
- 1/4 C milk
- 1/2 C corn meal
- 1 tsp pimentón (smoked paprika)
Slice the tomatoes between 1/4″ and 1/2″ inches thick, to get three or four slices out of each tomato. Season them with salt and pepper and lay aside on a plate. Now, set up your frying station. Lay three bowl out on your counter, near your stove. In the first bowl, add a cup of flour. In the second, whisk the egg and the milk together. In the third, add the remaining flour, the cornmeal, and the paprika. Stir this last mix together with a fork to combine well. Also place a wire rack with a couple paper towels under it to the side of the burner. Heat 1/2″ of canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. While it heats, go ahead and dredge each tomato in the plain flour. When the oil is hot, dip the tomato slices in the egg mixture, then dredge in the corn meal mix. Lay in the pan. Continue until you have a single layer of tomatoes in the pan, but do not overfill so the oil stays hot. Fry until the tomatoes take on a light golden color. Flip and fry just a bit longer until both sides are a light golden color. Remove to the rack to drain. Continue frying until all the tomatoes are done. Season with a dusting of salt and pimentón. Serve with a fresh tomato chutney or salsa or sweet onion marmalade.