Fried green tomatoes is an easy and delicious Southern appetizer idea. Fresh green tomatoes are dredged in a batter of flour, buttermilk, egg, and cornmeal, and then fried in a cast iron skillet. This recipe is a classic comfort food that you can treat yourself and your kids to each summer when green tomatoes are in abundance.
- 4 medium green tomatoes, cut in 1/4 inch slices
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup self-rising cornmeal
- 1 1/2 cups peanut oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
Prepping the Tomatoes
- Line two large cookie sheets with a double layer of paper towel.
- Rinse and slice the tomatoes, then spread out the slices on the paper towels.
- Sprinkle the tomato slices with salt and sugar, and let them sit for a few minutes. This process is called sweating. The salt draws out some of the water so the breading won’t be as mushy, and the sugar helps counteract the tartness.
Dredging and Breading the Tomatoes
- Get out three disposable pie plates. Fill the first one with flour mixed with salt and white pepper. Fill the second one with a beaten egg and buttermilk, and the last one with self-rising cornmeal.
- Dredge and bread the tomato slices one at a time. Coat the both sides and the sides of each slice in the flour, then the egg/buttermilk, and finally in the cornmeal, using a fork or your fingers to flip the slice. Be sure to shake off any extra flour or cornmeal.
- Place the breaded tomatoes back on the paper towel lined cookie sheets.
Frying the Tomatoes
- Preheat the oven to 200 F.
- In a 10-inch cast iron skillet, heat 1 to 1 1/2 cups of peanut oil over medium-high heat until it’s 360 F by using a thermometer that can go in hot liquid. Make sure the oil level is shallow, since you don’t want to submerge the slices. If the oil is bubbling too much, or smoking, turn the temperature down.
- Using a metal flipper, carefully lower 5 tomato slices into the hot oil. You don’t want to overcrowd the skillet, as it will lower the temperature of the oil.
- Cook the tomatoes for 2 to 3 minutes per side, until nicely browned. Flip the slices using metal tongs, being careful not to splatter oil.
- Once the tomatoes have nicely browned, use the metal tongs to move them to a wire rack lined with paper towels or brown paper to absorb the excess oil. While they are still warm, sprinkle salt on both sides of the tomato slices.
- Keep the batches of fried green tomatoes warm by placing them on an unlined cookie sheet in a 200 F oven.
- Serve the fried green tomatoes hot or warm. You can serve them plain, with a spicy dipping sauce, lemon wedges, or an sweet onion relish. Fried green tomatoes are also used in grilled sandwiches, and are part of the traditional Southern vegetable plate. They also taste great with a poached egg in a breakfast sandwich.
- Need to lower the sodium? Omit the salt from the flour mixture and don’t sprinkle any salt on the fried tomatoes.
- Don’t have a thermometer? You can test the temperature of the oil by using the handle of a wooden spoon, or frying a bit of the cornmeal/buttermilk/flour batter, or using a bread cube.
- Want to enjoy this year round? Freeze slices of green tomatoes on baking sheets, then transfer to freezer bags.
- Peanut oil has the highest resistance to burning and provides good flavor, so try to use it.
- Category: Appetizer
- Method: Frying
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: fried green tomatoes, green tomatoes