Grabbing the Gusto

Deirdre Reid – Freelance Writer & Home Cook

Even a Yankee can make fried green tomatoes. The trick is to find one recipe out of all the “this is the only way to make fried green tomatoes” recipes out there. There are hundreds of them on websites, blogs and even in blog comments. People get real feisty about fried green tomatoes, insisting that the way their grandmother made them is the BEST way and ONLY way to make them.

Why did I even trespass into the cut-throat world of fried green tomatoes? The other day I noticed that our one sad tomato plant that survived the summer in the shade had about six medium green tomatoes still hanging on. The nights are getting colder and the sun more scarce so it seemed unlikely they would ever redden. Jim was making steak for dinner. Wouldn’t fried green tomatoes make a good side? Oh, yes, they did.

I found this recipe on the Food Network website. I like the fact that it uses a three-bowl dredging method with cornmeal and spices as the final coat. I adapted the recipe a bit, increasing the cornmeal ratio in the last bowl. The original recipe calls for onion powder as part of the cornmeal mix, but I didn’t have any, so I substituted jerk seasoning because its first ingredient is onion. You could also try Old Bay, Cajun seasoning, garlic powder or parmesan cheese in the cornmeal mix. Buttermilk could be substituted for the milk.

fried green tomatoes recipe

photo by flickr: Girl_Interrupted_Eating

We ended up with more fried green tomato slices than we could eat so I’ve been finding other ways to enjoy them:

  • A warm breakfast sandwich of fried green tomato slices, fried egg, bacon and  cheese.
  • A cold sandwich of fried green tomato slices, bacon, lettuce, cheese, sriracha and mayo.
  • Layer fried green tomato slices with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese and heat until the cheese melts.
  • I’ll run out before trying this, but another option is to reheat them in the oven, then dip into ranch dressing or some other sour cream concoction.

Fried Green Tomatoes

  • 4 medium unripe green tomatoes, sliced 1/4” thick or less
  • 3/4 cup and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3/4 cup cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons celery salt
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon onion powder, Old Bay, Cajun or jerk seasoning
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika or smoked paprika
  • Vegetable oil

In the first bowl, add 3/4 cup flour.

In the second bowl, whisk the milk and egg. Add some hot sauce if you’d like more heat.

In the third bowl, whisk together the remaining flour, cornmeal, salt, celery salt, cayenne, pepper, onion powder and paprika.

Heat at least 1/2” of oil in a large skillet. In batches, dredge both sides of the tomato slices in the flour and shake off the excess. Then dip and turn them in the egg/milk bowl and let the excess drip off. Next dredge them in the cornmeal mixture, turning it over a few times to make sure it adheres.

Once you have a batch done, carefully place them in the hot oil. The first one should sizzle after you put it in, if not, wait a bit for the oil to heat before adding the rest. Use tongs to drop them so you don’t burn your fingers with splashing fat. You may have to move the pan on and off the burner if you have a funny stove like I do, so that they don’t darken too quickly.

Turn them over once the bottom side of the tomato slice is light brown. Remove them from the pan once they’re completely light brown and let them drain on a plate lined with paper towels. As the tomato slices cook, they will lose their firmness and become soft, another sign that they’re done.

Adapted from The Food Network

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98 thoughts on “Fried Green Tomatoes

  1. Tes says:

    I tried green tomato first time a few years ago and I was hooked. Thanks for the recipe. Now I can make it at home.

    1. deirdrereid says:

      You’re welcome, Tes. Thanks for posting a pumpkin pancake recipe on your blog. I’m thinking about making them this weekend. ‘Tis the season!

  2. runtobefit says:

    I have never tried Fried Green Tomatoes…maybe it’s time to

    1. deirdrereid says:

      They’re easy to make, just give it a try!

  3. Gwen says:

    Funny you mention these when they are on my list for making this weekend! I use the Lee Brothers recipe from their Southern Cookbook – it has a wonderful buttermilk sauce that really makes the dish. They are also great in BLGT’s (bacon, lettuce, fried green tomatoes), as you mention!

    1. deirdrereid says:

      That’s our Virgo mind meld working again! Do you know what’s sad? I have no room for new cookbooks. My cookbook bookcase is completely full and I already sold or gave away the ones that were sort of dispensable when I moved here. I’m looking around my office now seeing if there’s room for one more shelf somewhere. Sigh. Thanks for visiting, Gwen!

  4. I have always wanted to try these since the movie Fried Green Tomatoes came out. Something to try in next year’s garden. Thanks for posting!

    1. deirdrereid says:

      I’m envious of real gardens. Our entire yard is in the shade except for a little bit on the deck where we grow herbs. I’m amazed the tomatoes grew at all but we did get some. I look forward to reading about your country life, Tessa, thanks for stopping by.

  5. Livy Parker says:

    Love the parmesan cheese added to the mix… really good idea!

    1. deirdrereid says:

      I saw the suggestion for parmesan cheese in a comment somewhere but not in time to try it myself. I agree and I hope I remember that when it’s green tomato season again. Thanks for commenting, Livy.

  6. Jenna says:

    Oooh, yum . . . I’ve always wanted to try these every since watching the movie ‘Fried Green Tomatoes.’ I bet these would be good with a burger instead of the usual slice of red tomato.

    1. deirdrereid says:

      Jenna, that is a decadent idea and I LOVE it. I never really thought I could rationalize a deep-fat fryer before but I bet if I could keep the fat temperature steady, so the tomatoes absorb less, they wouldn’t be as unhealthy as mine probably are, and I could put them on burgers. How’s that for serial rationalization? Thanks for the idea!

  7. Burke says:

    I’m going to totally try this – thanks!!

    1. deirdrereid says:

      Please do and let me know if you make any recipe changes and how they turn out.

  8. Solid recipe, I’ve made mine similarly.

    1. deirdrereid says:

      I’ll take “solid” :-), thanks.

  9. fontgirl says:

    These look/sound so yummy!! I have never had friend green tomatoes before but can’t wait to try this recipe. Thanks for the post – congrats on being FP.

    1. deirdrereid says:

      Jill, your blog, especially the header photo, is way too tempting to see at this time of day when my stomach is starting to growl and my resistance is weak. I want a cupcake! I hope you do try making them and let me know how they turn out for you.

  10. Evie Garone says:

    Yummy! I tried making them before but I just improvised a regular fried recipe. I shall try this it sounds great. Thanks and congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

    evelyngarone.com

    1. deirdrereid says:

      Thanks, Evie, for your congrats and for visiting. Improvising is fun but I think my baking roots run too deep so I don’t do it as much as I should.

  11. Deirdre:

    I don’t eat fried foods, but I bet your Fried Green Tomatoes are just thing for my manager, Mr. Bricks….I’m sending him the recipe. Thanks!

    Blessings,

    Ava
    Congrats Deirdre on your Freshly Pressed highlight

    1. deirdrereid says:

      Thanks for spreading the fried green tomato love.

      And, your dog is hilarious.

  12. chefpriyanka says:

    these look scrumptious! MMMM

    1. deirdrereid says:

      Oh, they are. Looking forward to having more for lunch tomorrow! Thanks for commenting, Priyanka.

  13. frustrated mum says:

    Perfect – I had a few green tomatoes delivered last week in my bio box, now I know what to do for tea tomorrow!!

    1. deirdrereid says:

      What’s a bio box? We don’t use that term here in the US. Is it a farm delivery?

  14. cmblake6 says:

    Thank you for reminding me! One of the greatest foods of my youth, and I was trying to think of the exact best way to use such as are left on the vines before the end of the season. Forgive me for being one of those “I should have paid more attention when younger” types, but I’d never really paid attention to that three bowl technique. As I read your article, my tongue was going into full drool mode!

    1. deirdrereid says:

      We all should have paid more attention to what our mothers and grandmothers were cooking, or our neighbors’ mothers if they were Italian or Portuguese (much better food than our Irish-Lithuanian fare), but some of us didn’t, guilty. The three bowl technique works for lots of dishes that are sauteed too. I’m glad I took you back in time. 🙂

  15. Jillian says:

    love me some fried green tomatoes!

  16. rsmacaalay says:

    I havent tried this yet, but looks like its worth a try

    Raymund

    1. deirdrereid says:

      I can promise you that they are.

  17. aimeetalks says:

    They look mouth-watering! I have to try these out!

    1. deirdrereid says:

      Let me know how they turn out. Thanks for visiting.

  18. AR Sabir says:

    Thanks for the receipt, my late dad made years ago but i forgot how he made them.

    1. deirdrereid says:

      Maybe this recipe is worth a try?

  19. everythingneat says:

    Congratulations on being featured on Freshly Pressed!
    Glad you found those green tomatoes in your garden and shared your delicious recipe with us.

    1. deirdrereid says:

      Thanks. It’s been quite a heavy traffic day here, love it.

  20. Elizabeth Swigar says:

    I tried making fried green tomatoes years ago, and they came out awful. Thank you for this recipe. I think I’ll try again!

    1. deirdrereid says:

      This was my first attempt at them and I think they came out great. They’re even good a few days later, so give them a try! Thanks for commenting.

  21. The Perfectly Imperfect One says:

    I have always wanted to try fried green tomatoes. I will have to use your recipe when I do 🙂

    1. deirdrereid says:

      I can vouch for it as a first-timer. Come back and let me know how they turn out.

  22. Patty says:

    As long as I’ve lived in the south, I don’t know why I have not tried these. I have some green tomatoes in my back yard right now…I may try this recipe this weekend.
    The Parmesan cheese sounds like it would be a great addition.

    1. deirdrereid says:

      How close is this to your fried squash recipe? I loved those at the beach. I was thinking of you when I made them. 🙂

      1. Patty says:

        The squash recipe is a little different. You use flour and cornmeal, while we use breadcrumbs. You use a few more seasonings as well–which could be added to the squash recipe and probably enhance it.

        Your recipe kind of reminded me of the squash recipe too….that is why I want to try it. My mouth is watering!

        1. deirdrereid says:

          I just had a late breakfast of the tomatoes with mozzarella cheese on wheat with, and you’ll hate this, mayo and sriracha (hot sauce). Yum.

  23. Mmmm, yummo! Fried green tomatoes always makes me think of the movie though, and some of the things they did in that were not so appetising.. But hey, your recipe sounds delicious anyway.

    1. deirdrereid says:

      I barely remember that movie but apparently a lot of people do. I bet these are better than anything those ladies could cook up. 😉

  24. winstontorr says:

    can you believe i’ve never made or tried Fried Green Tomatoes?… thank you for the lovely post… i will try it now!… keep up the great work!

    1. deirdrereid says:

      I’m glad I could inspire you!

  25. mikyc14 says:

    Great way to adapt the recipe to what you have on hand. I always love a resourceful cook. Can’t wait to try these. They look delicious!

    1. deirdrereid says:

      It’s like a game with me — using what I already have. I’ve bought one too many one-use-only ingredients in my past, learning my lesson.

  26. Sunflowerdiva says:

    Oh wow, this look delicious! My “to make sometime soon” recipe list is growing larger and larger with all these amazing dishes I’m finding. Congrats on getting Freshly Pressed!

    1. deirdrereid says:

      I know what you mean. I’ve got a ton of recipes bookmarked and others copied into Word files. And then there are the magazines and cookbooks and clippings. I could stop now and cook for the rest of my life.

  27. sopme says:

    I love fried green tomatoes – I’m from the south, and when we were kids, we couldn’t wait to pick a few green ones, and have Mom bread them and fry them up! Thanks for posting, made me think of being a kid

    1. deirdrereid says:

      Glad I could take you back in time. Thanks for commenting.

  28. I am salivating already.

    Please send some digitally across for me to taste. The pic is great!

    1. deirdrereid says:

      Isn’t that photo stunning? I love the contrast in colors. I wish I could take credit but it was taken by Becky York. She posted it on Flickr with Creative Commons rights (love that!). She blogs at http://girlinterruptedeating.wordpress.com/.

  29. breadnbutter69 says:

    very cool! will have to try it out! plus we got our own green tomatoes from the garden so this is perfect.

    1. deirdrereid says:

      It’s a good way to use up the garden leftovers — no waste!

  30. Wow… I had always assumed that fried green tomatoes were just sliced unripe tomatoes… Fried… The truth is so much more involved! Before this revelation I used to just enjoy them fried with a little bit of garlic and salt and tonnes of cracked pepper until just a little bit caramelised. When served with barbequed asparagus and spicy guacamole, they are divine. This sounds even better! Will have to give it a try…

    1. deirdrereid says:

      Not much more involved, just a little enhancement to the process. Your simple way sounds delicious too.

  31. Nadine Yunis says:

    Yummy, that sounds delicious, I will try it soon..Have a nice day

    1. deirdrereid says:

      Thanks for visiting, Nadine!

  32. annscloset says:

    So I just found this post and have to say that the fried green tomatoes look so good. Although there fattening with all that other stuff on it, I would still eat it. Great post and I subscribed to your blog. Just started mine so not much on there yet.
    Have a great night.

    1. deirdrereid says:

      Everything in moderation! A little fat now and then is okay. Good luck on your blog. I hope you end up enjoying it as much as I do mine.

  33. I wish I hadn’t read this post. Fried green tomatoes and fried pickles are my weakness and I’m stuck at work with no way to get them!!

    1. deirdrereid says:

      I never had fried pickles until I moved to North Carolina. Love them. They’re great with beer.

  34. barb7802 says:

    Love them! I have tried many recipes. Some really good, some were lacking, very lacking. I can tell this one is going to be delicious. Cannot wait. Thanks. And congrats!
    Barbara

    1. deirdrereid says:

      I’m not an experienced fried green tomato eater but I liked these. I’d definitely be willing to try other good recipes.

  35. Slowvelder says:

    I have wanted to try fried green tomatoes for ages and managed to make some for the first time a few months ago. They were so bitter… is that the way they are supposed to taste or did I use a bad recipe?

    1. deirdrereid says:

      They definitely don’t taste like red tomatoes, but I’m not sure I would call it a bitter taste, just different. I’m no expert on that, maybe someone else has the answer. Folks?

  36. deumex says:

    green tomatos are unripe? or is that a sort of tomatoes?

    1. deirdrereid says:

      Yes, they’re unripe tomatoes. They’re not tomatillos — that’s a completely different fruit.

  37. niña says:

    wow! it looks delicious! thanks so much for this recipe! 😛

    1. deirdrereid says:

      You’re welcome, thanks for visiting.

  38. Jane Marie says:

    I live in the south and love fried green tomatoes. There are many ways to cook fried green tomatoes I use flour instead of cornmeal. Think I might try your recipe.

    1. deirdrereid says:

      Please let me know how you like the cornmeal topping if you do try it. Thanks for commenting.

  39. KitKat says:

    Thank you for this. I had never had fried green tomatoes until my first visit to my in-laws house in the KY mountains. That was almost 14 years ago and I have been a fan since the first bite. I like your other suggestions for eating them. Especially the breakfast sandwich.

    1. deirdrereid says:

      I’m always on the look out for a good breakfast sandwich and I can tell you that a fried green tomato one is tasty. Thanks for visiting!

  40. Kawani says:

    I Love fried green tomatoes, they are a great snack, and it’s quick making them.

    1. deirdrereid says:

      I agree. I’m bummed that mine are all gone now.

  41. lbwong says:

    Great post! I’ve heard of fried green tomatoes but last the movie, never had even a look at them. The pic you took will surely make me want to try them soon (and I love Food Netwook for new recipes to try!) AND I’ll need to make wayyyy more so I can try those creative ideas you mentioned too–sounds yummy! Congrats on Freshly Pressed! LB

    1. deirdrereid says:

      Thanks, LB. I wish I could take credit for that photo but it’s from Becky York at Girl Interrupted Eating. I found her photo using a Creative Commons search on Flickr. I like Food Network as a source for recipes too, especially because they get a lot of reader reviews. I get a lot of ideas for recipe adaptations from those reviews.

  42. I got exactly 1 tomato from my garden this year. The weeks of 100 to near 100 degree weather rotten the tomatoes on the vine. No FGT this year. We had a killer frost in NW AL even though temps were 34.

    1. deirdrereid says:

      Bummer! My best tomato-growing experience was when I lived in Sacramento (aka Sacratomato). I only grew them one year because they required too much maintenance (watering). We did a little better here but they never get that big or plentiful — too much shade.

  43. Barry Glibb says:

    That is a great photo, and I’m sure I would eat a whole plate of your fancy ones, but I do rather enjoy this dish done simply by dredging the sliced green tomatos in plain cornmeal, then lightly browning them on medium high in a cast iron skillet in a thin layer of canola oil; salt and pepper while they’re draining on the paper towel afterwards. Perhaps this could be considered simply “country-style”.

    1. deirdrereid says:

      It is a great photo. It’s not mine. Becky York posted it on Flickr with Creative Commons rights so I could use it. It’s funny, they didn’t seem fancy when I made them, just a little extra spice. I guess I’m used to using the 3-bowl method for other dishes so that didn’t faze me. Thanks for commenting, Barry!

  44. calogeromira says:

    Nice photo of fried green tomatoes. Isn’t it?

    1. deirdrereid says:

      It is. I never tire of giving Becky York credit for that.

  45. Video Recipes says:

    Delicous. Now just throw in a little bacon… 😀

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