Fried Green Tomatoes

green tomatoes

October 9th, 2012

I had lunch with Rick and Su on Sunday. They still had a few tomato plants laden with fruit and at this time of year there’s no chance that they will ripen. I came home with a dozen green tomatoes of varying sizes, chiefly to be fried, but a few might make it into the stock pot and they’d also be good in chutney.

on the vine

I was under the impression that fried green tomatoes came from the southern states of America, particularly having seen the film, though I did live in Georgia for a couple of years and never saw them – odd since the film is set in Alabama and was filmed in Georgia! I’ve done a little research and several websites suggest that they were quite common back in the 1840’s and a few have found Jewish cook books with recipes dating back to a similar time. I can actually imagine matzo meal being used instead of corn meal, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter what the origin is – fried green tomatoes taste great!

Fried Green Tomato recipe:

1 or 2 hard green tomatoes per person (depending on size)
1 beaten egg
half a cup of plain flour
quarter of a cup of breadcrumbs
quarter of a cup of cornmeal (or cornflour)
salt and pepper
olive oil for frying

sliced tomato

Slice the tomatoes, about half an inch thick – it’s important that they are  hard and not soft. Discard the top and bottom of the tomatoes. Cover the slices in flour, dip them in beaten egg and then coat them in a mixture of seasoned breadcrumbs and cornmeal. Fry them until golden, in hot oil and drain on some kitchen towel. Some recipes suggest cooking them in bacon fat and I think that’s an excellent idea!

fried green tomatoes

Most recipes call for a mixture of beaten egg and milk (or buttermilk), but personally I was disappointed with the milk mixture and prefer egg alone. My recipe will do about 4 medium tomatoes and I recommend them as a starter or for breakfast. Chilli flakes or Cajun seasoning mixed into the breadcrumbs and cornmeal spice up the flavour, or some balsamic vinegar or chilli sauce make a great accompaniment.

Edit: Having lots of green tomatoes to play with, I did a taste test with all sorts of hot sauces and vinegars. I would say that, overwhelmingly, Sriracha sauce was best and it’s almost as if it was made to go with fried green tomatoes! Nothing else came close.

About Mad Dog
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33 Responses to Fried Green Tomatoes

  1. Love you getting your Southern out! Love the breakfast idea…if only I weren’t waking up at 5:30 to be out the door by 7…..

  2. Is there a type of tomato that is green.. or are green tomatoes just those that didn’t ripen? I know.. I should know that, but I don’t, lol! I would love these for breakfast.. especially with cornmeal in, they could fry up right after the bacon:D

    • Mad Dog says:

      There are some unusual coloured tomatoes out there, but this particular recipe is specific to using up the ordinary tomatoes that don’t ripen at the end of the season (or in the middle of the season, tomatoes that are not yet ripe) 😉

  3. ceciliag says:

    I think Mary is living around the corner from me now… she said she would teach me how to make these but then she went back to tennessee for a visit.. i can see that the chilli flakes would be a good addition, we have the green tomatoes now that is for sure i shall have to make these tomorrow.. c

  4. ChgoJohn says:

    I really enjoy fried green tomatoes but it wasn’t until I was an adult before I tried them. Picking a green tomato would have been a sacrilege to my Grandpa. At Summer’s end, he picked all of the green tomatoes, stored them in newspaper, and coaxed — or was it cursed? — them into ripening.
    There are now heirloom tomatoes that are green when ripe. How one knows that they’ve ripened is beyond me. Certainly, one should neve squeeze a tomato. 😉

  5. Eha says:

    Sugar: what chance can a person born in Europe, living in Oz forever and believing tomatoes are only usable when red have? OK, saw the film! Still wonder whether having them red would not just be the simplest form of the wretchedly needed lycopene without all the extras 😀 !

    • Mad Dog says:

      Yes probably, but these ones were never going red – I found several bunches going mouldy – dying on the vine. There were a few dozen out there, all green.

  6. What an interesting idea, thanks! I will hunt for the really green tomatoes next time I’m shopping – all the Spanish women will wonder what on earth the crazy foreigner is up to!

  7. I remember the movie and have often fancied the idea of making them. You’ve made them sound delicious and spurred me on to find some green tomatoes, although we have had a real shortage of good tomates de champs this year.

  8. ¡Hola MD!
    Tomates verdes fritos es una de mis películas preferidas y siempre he querido hacer esta receta, pero nunca me he animado…parece bastante sencilla, a ver si encuentro tomates verdes y la pruebo.
    Saludos 🙂

  9. I have tried to love fried green tomatoes many times (love the movie though) but maybe, just maybe you have inspired me to give them another go. Can I have a poached egg with them?!

  10. Tessa says:

    I love fried green tomatoes! These look so delicious! And you are spot on about using sriracha… Have you thought about trying sweet chili sauce?

    • Mad Dog says:

      Thanks – I did consider sweet chilli sauce, but didn’t have any, however, I could carry on eating fried green tomatoes with sriracha for at least a week 😉

  11. spicegirlfla says:

    Being new to the Atlanta area, I can saw I have not seen fried green tomatoes…yet! Though I will now be on the lookout for them. I always thought they were a Southern (Georgia) type food too. Looks amazing!

  12. Audrey Evermore says:

    Do Green Tomatoes have anything to do with Green Onions … Tijuana Brass connection Do they compliment tequila? I must try this recipe.

  13. Pingback: fried green tomatoes | Blue jellybeans

  14. Pingback: Tomates verdes fritos | Blue jellybeans

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