Sunday Suppers: Fried Green Tomatoes

These guys can be enjoyed as is, or you can use them as a component in a swanky dish.  Either way, fried green tomatoes are Okay in my book.

These guys can be enjoyed as is, or you can use them as a component in a swanky dish. Either way, fried green tomatoes are Okay in my book.

Yesterday, The Beloved and I had a Very Fun Time wandering through eastern NC.  We saw many Cool Things, and we ate some cool food.  I will tell you all about it tomorrow, but today, I am sharing a treat that we enjoyed that will serve as a Sunday Supper.  The treat is fried green tomatoes.  If you've never had them and are Dubious, worry not.  A green tomato isn't a Vulcan tomato, it's just a tomato that isn't ripe, yet.  They are firm and tart and can Greatly Benefit from a few minutes of pan frying to keep them from being too crunchy to enjoy.  I have recently been on a FGT Kick, and I've had them prepared several different ways:  with a tempura-like batter, with a thick, floury-peppery coating and with a hearty cornmeal crust.  So far, I'm a fan of the cornmeal crust.  Very southern, and to my mind, the crunch of the cornbread plays against the tart fim-oodgy texture of the tomatoes much better than crisp does.

Fried Green Tomatoes

  • Green tomatoes, sliced about 1/3" thick
  • buttermilk for soaking
  • a few drops of hot sauce, to taste (also for soaking)
  • salt and tons of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup cornmeal--a medium grind is nice if you can find it so you get a hearty crunch.  If not, fine will do
  • neutral oil or bacon grease*

Whisk together the buttermilk and some hot sauce to taste.

Add a healthy pinch of salt and tons of black pepper to the cornmeal.  Whisk all that together.

Soak the tomato slices for fifteen or twenty minutes in the buttermilk mixture.

Take the tomatoes out of the buttermilk and sort of shake off the excess.

Dredge the tomato slices in the cornmeal mix.  Press down a bit to get a pretty thick coating on the slices.

Over medium-ish heat, fry in oil or bacon drippings until golden brown on one side.  Carefully flip and fry the other side.  Drain on paper towels, and serve hot.

What to do with Fried Green Tomatoes

Like so many simple dishes, these can stand on their own with just a shot of hot sauce and a sprinkle of salt or lemon juice.  They can also be used as a component in other dishes.  Here are some ideas:

  1. Make a swanky sammich on sturdy bread.  Goat cheese or Boursin is excellent with fried green tomatoes.
  2. Stack them with some melted cheese between them.  Try using some mozarella and garnish with a basil aoili or pesto mayonnaise (stir pesto into mayo.  Done) for a southern take on a Caprese Salad.
  3. Put a slice on a burger.  Use lots of mayo on the bun.  Mayonnaise and fried green tomatoes are Friends.
  4. Make a BLFGT sammich: bacon, lettuce, and fried green tomato.  Oh, mama!
  5. Top with salsa verde or even guacamole.  Hit it with a little chipotle in adobo, and you're in business.
  6. Use fried green tomatoes instead of an English muffin as a base for an Eggs Benedict-inspired dish.  I'm thinking that country ham and a nice poached egg would be right on time.  Dress with some sausage gravy, and you'll have a truly Southern take on a brunch classic.

I'm sure you'll come up with you own keen ideas.  If you run with this and make something Awesome with fried green tomatoes, let me know.  If you just make some and eat them, I'd like to know that, too.  Enjoy!
*Don't fear bacon grease.  Bacon and tomatoes are friends.  You owe it to yourself to fry a green tomato in bacon grease at least once.


  1. says

    Fried green tomatoes are totally unheard of in the UK, can you buy green tomatoes where you are or do you grow your own?

    I really want to try this but I’ll have to wit until I have some fruits on my tomato plant.

    • says

      Hi Sam:)

      Yes, we can buy them here, but if you are already growing tomatoes, just harvest some before they turn red–sometimes you can get them completely green all the way through; other times they’ll have a bit of pink in them. Either way is fine. Once ours get large enough, we’ll be harvesting some green, too!

  2. says

    I love that you give suggestions on ways to serve it; otherwise, my uncreative mind would just plop them on a plate and have at it! I do like FGT but unfortunately, every time I hear those words, I keep seeing Kathy Bates and Jessica Tandy. Need new memories . . .


  1. […] The relationship between Idgie Threadgoode and Ruth Jamison is accepted by everyone in their small town of Whistle Stop. Perhaps the author wanted to create a perfectly accepting world for the two of them, or perhaps the people of Whistle Stop simply never paused to question the nature of their bond. Idgie fell in love with Ruth at a young age, and their connection continues to unfold in the book. The friendship between the two becomes something more, as they share their everyday life in gentleness, compassion, and love. Set in 1920’s Alabama, the cultural backdrop makes me reminiscent of the stories my grandmother would tell, complete with good ‘ole southern church, honest people, and of course, fried green tomatoes. […]

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