Thursday, July 8, 2010

Cheap Eats: Fried Green Tomatoes

The Topic: Summertime Specialties

The Dish:
If there's one thing I miss about living in Missouri, it's my parents' summer garden crop. Those two have been exercising their green thumbs for as long as I can remember, and I never really appreciated it. Gardening wasn't my thing, but the endless supply of tomatoes it yielded? I could get behind that. I know a surprising amount of people who don't fawn over the total deliciousness of a ripe tomato, which I will never understand. Sliced up with some garlic-pepper salt? That might be the best snack ever.

And of course, I can't mention my love of this fruit without touching on a childhood favorite—fried green tomatoes. When you grow your own, it's easy to have dozens of green lovelies, ready for pan-frying at a moment's notice. The batter is super simple to whip up, without any costly ingredients. If you can get your hands on some unripe tomatoes, this is a total treat. While it's a bit harder to hunt them down in San Francisco, I'm determined to enjoy these bad boys this season. Or, I might just have to take a trip home before Missouri's hot weather—and our crop—disappears.

Freakin' Delicious Fried Green Tomatoes

What You Need:

1 cup flour
1/2 cup corn meal
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic-pepper salt
Dash paprika
4 green tomatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 cup nondairy milk, unsweetened
1 teaspoon salt
Olive oil, for frying

What You Do:
  1. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, corn meal, pepper, garlic-pepper salt, and paprika. In a separate bowl, pour nondairy milk.
  2. In a medium skillet over medium heat, add salt. Wait 15 seconds, then cover pan in olive oil. Dip tomato slice in milk, then dry mix, and add to skillet. Repeat until skillet is full, and cook tomatoes 2 to 4 minutes, until brown. Flip, cook an additional 2 to 4 minutes, and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain and cook. Repeat, eat, and enjoy!
The Final Word: One dip in the batter will provide a light, crispy coating. If you want to go heavy on the crunch, double dipping is allowed—just quickly go back to the milk, then dry mix, once you've completed the first round of coating. Feel free to add whatever spices you like to it, as well. For the finished product, I love these with hot sauce, vegan sour cream, ketchup—pretty much any condiment will do.


  1. Abby! Thank you. I have so many green tomotoes in my garden right now, and have been craving some fried ones. But hving recently gone vegan I didn't know how they would turn out without milk, egg, etc. Thanks so much. I am going to try these out tonght.

  2. Yuu-umm! I can't wait until my plants start popping out those lovely greenies.

  3. You can read my mind, can't you? I was just searching for a recipe for these!!! I had never had them before but received some from the CSA and had a brilliant sandwich idea using them. Thanks for the recipe.

    ***Sandwich was delicious- piled the fried green tomatoes and pepperjack soy cheese on bread and broiled for about 5 minutes until the bread was toasty and the cheese was melted. Put vegan ranch dressing on the sandwich and dipped in a little bit of hot sauce between each bite. Mmm...