Fried Green Tomatoes

Growing up, fried green tomatoes had somewhat of a mystical quality to them. It seemed to take ages to transform the firm, just picked tomatoes into the tangy, salty, crispy discs.

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Farmer’s market BLT Salad with peaches

We were out at a farmer’s market the other weekend and were able to snag some great green tomatoes, peaches, onions, heirloom tomatoes, and corn. What do you make with all of that? A massive BLT salad of course, with some horseradish dressing. Along the way I learned there’s a pretty easy trick to making the coating: 1/3.

1/3 flour, 1/3 cornmeal, 1/3 breadcrumbs

It doesn’t matter how much breading you’re making up as long as you keep the ratio of equal parts flour, cornmeal, and breadcrumbs. It makes it pretty hard to screw up if you know that magic ratio. It also helps alleviate that panicked moment when you realize you haven’t made enough coating for the number of tomato slices you have.

Fried Green Tomatoes

Motivation rating: Medium-high. Grab a friend and make a project out of it, the reward is worth it.
Planning rating: The hardest part is finding green tomatoes. If you find them anywhere grab them, you’ll thank me later.
Salt rating: There’s multiple layers of salt here, and all condensed in a delicious tomato slice.

Ingredients:
Green tomatoes (I used 2 large ones and had plenty of leftovers)
1 large egg or egg replacement
3 Tbsp milk
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 tsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp pepper + a pinch
1 tsp Old Bay or Cajun seasoning
Salt
Pinch of sugar

Step 1: Wash tomatoes and slice them to your desired thickness (Usually between 1/4 and 1/2 inch). Lay them out on a plate or flat surface. Sprinkle with salt, a bit of pepper, and the sugar. The sugar helps to balance the flavor so you don’t end up with overly tart tomatoes at the end.

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First salting: table salt, second salting: Hawaiian red salt

Step 2: Mix up your egg and milk in a bowl that you can dip the slices in later. I use VeganEgg and unflavored almond milk. I find that the VeganEgg (Made by Follow Your Heart) produces the best result for coating and frying or baking. I’ve heard that some people like scrambling it as well because it gives a more egg like experience than tofu.

Step 3: Combine remaining ingredients in a second bowl, also the proper dimensions for dipping.

Step 4: Heat a pan on medium with a bit of oil that doesn’t have a low smoke point. The key here is consistent heat.

Step 5: Dip tomato in wet batter, then dry and plop in the pan. There shouldn’t be too many tomatoes in your pan at once- if they touch they won’t cook properly. Once they’re browned on one side, flip and cook the other.

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Getting ready to be moved and cooled

Step 6: Take the tomatoes out of the pan with a slotted spatula and place on a paper towel covered plate. If you can, move them to a wire cooling rack after they’ve drained for a minute. This helps to keep them extra crispy. If you start to stack them or cover them once they’ve come out of the pan, they’ll lose their crispness and get weird and soggy. No one likes soggy tomatoes, and you’ll feel terrible about putting all of that work into making them.

Step 7: Salt and serve.

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Fried green tomato sandwich with pickles and pickled onions. A POTS dream come true.

These also freeze well once they’ve completely cooled. I like to make a big batch, freeze them, and reheat in a pan or the oven.

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