Recipes From The Garden: Cooking With Green Tomatoes

By Becca Badgett | August 4, 2020
Image by StephanieFrey
by Becca Badgett
August 4, 2020

If tomatoes are one of your favorite fruits, you may plant several types of tomato plants in your garden. You may be impatient, waiting for them to ripen and provide that first slice of tomato for your sandwich or salad.

While there are a few tricks to make tomatoes ripen more quickly, another way to get an edible tomato faster is by cooking it. Perhaps, cooked tomatoes don’t appeal to you. If not, you obviously haven’t tried fried green tomatoes. Popular enough to have a book and a movie named for them, the result is delicious, and it’s one of my favorites.

After all the time and work put into growing them, cooking with green tomatoes is a great way to enjoy the “fruits of your labor” quicker.

Garden Recipe for Fried Green Tomatoes

When looking for a great fried green tomatoes recipe, there’s one thing to keep in mind – the secret to the best fried tomatoes is the breading. You may use flour, cornmeal, or a combination. Note: Rice flour will work for those who need to eat gluten-free.

Choose fully developed green tomatoes that have started to soften. Most recipes use three average tomatoes. Wash them thoroughly and slice to one third inch. If you like them a little crispier on the edges, slice to ¼ inch.

Prepare a heavy skillet or deep fryer with vegetable oil, or something healthier like canola. Get your breading bowls ready – one with flour, one with cornmeal and one with ½ cup of milk and an egg beaten together. I dredge in flour first, then the milk and egg, and finally in cornmeal. Salt and pepper to taste.

Fry the tomato slices about two minutes on medium high heat. Drain on a paper towel before adding to a burger, sandwich or serving as a side dish (definitely recommended). Serve them as a side dish with a dipping sauce of buttermilk ranch or another buttermilk-based dipper. You’ll love the taste of this unique southern tradition, and it might take care of your urge for that unbeatable fresh-from-the-garden tomato taste.

Try frying up other produce from the garden to create various sides or appetizers. Okra, cauliflower, and kohlrabi can all be breaded and deep fried in the same way. Use your imagination and whatever is growing in the early garden.

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