Fried Green Tomatoes

I’m finally trying to write posts for all the foods I’ve made, eaten, and photographed over the past few weeks, so if I’m successful, there will be quite a few random, unrelated posts coming your way.  This post is about fried green tomatoes.

I had never liked tomatoes when I was younger.  I think it was the watery texture that turned me off at first, but just this year, I’ve begun to enjoy them.  It was the beautiful heirloom breeds available in Charlottesville that won me over.  They’re more shapely, imperfect, and far more colorful than traditional, grocery store tomatoes, and I think I eat them mostly because I think they’re so pretty.

A week ago, I bought a gorgeous lime green tomato (again, mostly because I thought it was pretty) and didn’t really know what to do with it.  The only dish I had heard of was “fried green tomatoes,” and struck with culinary inspiration, I decided to look up a recipe and make them.

There are of course hundreds of recipes online for fried green tomatoes, so I made a sort of combination of a few of them, paired down to the basic components.  After slicing the tomato into thick disks, I marinated the slices in buttermilk, an egg, and salt/pepper for about an hour.  (I’m not sure how necessary this step is or how important the duration of the marinade is, but I had time, so I figured I would try the approach.)

Next I prepared the topping, for lack of better word.  I made a simple breadcrumb topping out of a piece of wheat bread that I toasted quickly to dry out. I sliced the bread, added chopped parsley, salt and pepper, Italian seasoning, and some leftover breadcrumbs.  Many of the recipes called for Panko breadcrumbs, so if you happen to have them, I think they would make a great addition as well.  Another wonderful addition which I believe I found on the FoodNetwork was grated Parmesan cheese.

Chop everything in a food processor until you get small enough crumbs to stick to and to coat your tomato slices.

I poured my finished breadcrumbs onto a big plate.  Using my hands, I pulled the tomato slices from the marinade, patted both sides with the breadcrumbs, and dropped them immediately into the pan.   I should have mentioned earlier that you need to have the pan on medium heat and to have a full coating of oil on the bottom before frying.  I used a mixture of olive and canola oil.  Once the pan and oil are fully heated (but not smoking too much, though), the coated tomato slices can be dropped in gently.

Here’s the pretty little slices right after I slid them into the pan.  I must impart a little knowledge about frying tomatoes which I did not have before beginning this experiment: they cook very quickly!  You need only watch the stray bits of breadcrumbs floating in the oil to see how quickly they begin to brown.  I would warn you not to walk away or even to look away from the pan.  I made that mistake, and suffice it say that my tomatoes became very “well-done.”

By the time I realized it was time to flip them, they were quite dark brown and crispy, but not all-the-way burnt, so they were still edible.  And after all that hard work, there was no way I was throwing out that previously-gorgeous green tomato!

Despite my debacle with cooking time, my fried green tomatoes turned out alright, especially for my first time trying anything like them.  One particularly elegant recipe I found called for topping the tomatoes with  balsamic vinegar and feta cheese, which I had all intentions of trying until I forgot the cheese in my rush to get the slices out of the pan.

I’m not meaning to complain though!  I quite enjoyed my fried green tomatoes, and I hope that if you want to try making your own, you will not be daunted by my mistakes.  So if you’re a tomato lover, please go try this delicious dish.  I promise you’ll love it.

So that’s it for the tomatoes, folks.  Hope you enjoyed the post.  I’m working on downloading all my pictures, so there should be more posts coming soon.  See you next time!  Stay hungry!

2 Responses to “Fried Green Tomatoes”
  1. Mom says:

    Goat cheese is really yummy on them too! This made me hungry.

  2. Nana and Pop-Pop says:

    Just got this recipe and it looks great. Can’t wait to try it in the upcoming tomato season.

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