I grew up in Florida and Georgia. Now I live in California, where some things related to Southern cooking are hard to find. Unripe green tomatoes for frying aren’t sold in the supermarkets; to obtain them, one has to go to the farmer’s markets and hope one of the tomato vendors has some unripe green ones, or one has to grow their own.
Another thing, Californians seem confused as to what "green tomatoes" are. When I first moved out here and asked people where I could get green tomatoes, they thought I meant green heirloom tomatoes or tomatilloes. Much humor ensued as I explained that "green tomatoes" were just regular, unripe red tomatoes.
Anyway, a recent treasure trove of unripe green tomatoes found at the local farmer’s market had me running home gleefully, loads of firm green tomatoes brimming in my arms. Here is my recipe for fried green tomatoes. And no, it’s not just a movie.
I don’t use measurements. I go by instinct.
Fried Green Tomatoes
2 unripe green tomatoes
some flour (1/2 cup or so)
some fine-ground cornmeal (1/2 cup or so)
lots of ground pepper (2 tbsp or to your taste)
2 eggs, beaten
corn or canola oil
Put flour and cornmeal in one bowl and mix in pepper.
Beat eggs in another bowl.
Heat oil (maybe 1/2 inch deep?) in frying pan.
Slice tomatoes. about 1/8 inch thick
Dip tomato slice in beaten egg and cover both sides.
Dredge egg-covered tomato slice in flour/cornmeal/pepper mix until coated.
Place in pan with oil.
Keep going with the rest of the tomato slices.
Your fingers will be sticky. Deal with it.
After about 5 or 10 minutes, turn over tomato slices and let the other side fry.
Turn over again in another 5 minutes.
After 2 minutes or so, transfer fried tomato slices to a plate lined with paper towels and let them drain for a few minutes.
Sprinkle with salt and/or Tabasco to your taste.
Serves 1. Because I don’t share. Preferably enjoyed while lying in a hammock, sipping sweet tea and watching fireflies.
They're also really good in a sandwich with some white bread and mayo.
(Image: Kathryn Hill)